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Full text of "Poems"

LIBRARY OF 
WELLESLEY COLLEGE 




PRESENTED BY 
Maud Mason 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/poemsOObyro 




He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, 
And sternly shook his hand on high. 



The Giaour. 



♦&* 



POEMS 



BY 



LORD BYRON 



WITH ILL US TEA TIONS 



LONDON 
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS 

BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL 
NEW YORK : 416 BROOME STREET 



._.._ As 



-•■o* 



^^3^3 



HOUTLEDGE'S RED LINE POETS. 

COWPBR. 
MILTON. 
WOBDS WORTH. 

SOUTHEY. 

GOLDSMITH. 

BURNS. 

MOORE. 

BYRON. 

POPE. 

SCOTT. 

HERBERT. 

CAMPBELL. 

SHAKSPERE. 

CHAUCER. 

■WILLIS. 

SACRED TOEMS. 

FAMILIAR QUOTATIONa 

MRS. Hi: MANS. 

SHELLEY. 

COLERIDGE. 

HOOD. 

COMIC TOETRY. 

THE BOOK OF BALLADS. 

LORD LYTTON'S POEMS. 

LORD LYTTON'S DRAMAS. 






PR 

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♦4 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



Instead of an excuse, the Publishers have to offer a oongratcla« 
taon to the Public upon being pnabled, by the lapse of copyrights, 
to add most of the Poetical Works of Byron to their cheap, but 
ilegant series of our most esteemed poets. This volume contains 
all Lord Byron's Poems of which the copyright is free, with the 
exception of Don Juan, from which extraordinary work, as it ia 
their wish that their books should be welcomed in every family 
circle, they have only presented carefully-selected beautiful 
passages, with which English readers are so well acquainted, thai 
they would naturally look for theeo. 



4* 



CONTENTS. 



^o'jTtsj of Idleness :— 

Proiaco Pqi& I 

Ou tuj ~Bt ath of a Young Lady — " Hush'd are the winds " . . . . 8 

To E " Let folly smile " 8 

To D " In thee I fondly hoped " 4 

Epitaph on a Friend — " Oh, friend ! for ever " 4 

A Fragment — " When to their airy hail " 5 

On leaving Newstead Abbey — " Through thy battlements "'. . 5 
Answer to Lines written in " Letters to an Italian Nun and 

an English Gentleman," &c. — " Dear simple girl " 6 

Adrian's Address to his Soul when Dying — " Ah ! gentle " . . 7 

Translation from Catullus — ' ' Equal to Jove " 7 

Translation of the Epitaph on Virgil and Tibullus — " Ho who 

sublime " 8 

Imitation of Tibullus—" Cruel Cerinthna " 8 

Translation from Catullus — " Ye Cupids" 8 

Imitated from Catullus. To Ellen—" Oh ! might I kiss " . . 9 
Translation from Horace — " The man of firm and noble soul " 9 
From Anacreon — " I wish to tune " 9 

„ „ — " 'Twas now the hour " 10 

,, the Prometheus Vinctus, &c. — " Great Jove" 10 

To Emma — " Since now the hour " 11 

„ M. S. G.— " Whene'er I view those lips " 12 

„ Caroline—" Think'st thou I saw " 13 

„ ,, — " When I hear you express " 14 

,, ,, — "Oh! when shall the grave " 14 

Stanzas to a Lady, with the Poems of Camoens — " This 

votive pledge " 15 

The First Kiss of Love — " Away with your fictions " 15 

On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School — " Where 

are those honours " 16 

To the Duke of Dorset — " Dorset ! whose early steps " 17 

Fragment, written shortly after the Marriage of Miss Oha- 

worth— " Hills of Annesley " 19 

Granta. A Medley—" Oh ! could Le Sage's " 19 

On a Distant View of the Village and School of Harrow-on- 

the-Hill— " Ye scenes of my childhood " 22 

To M " Oh ! did those eyes " 23 

3 , Woman — " Woman ! esperience might " * . 23 

„ M. S. G.— " When I dream that you love me" 24 

M Mar/, on receiving her Picture — " This fainfc" 2-4 



*xh 



vl CONTENTS. 

Hours 07 Idleness— continued. 

To Lesbia — " Lesbia ! since far from you " Pct^u 25 

Lines addressed to a Young Lady, alarmed by a bullet hiss- 
ing- near her — " Doubtless, sweet girl " 26 

Love's last Adieu — " The roses of love" 27 

J >amaetas — " In law an infant " 28 

To Marion — " Marion I why that pensive brow " 28 

To a Lady who presented to the Author a Lock of Hair 

braided with his own — " These locks '' , . . . 30 

Oscar of Alva. A Tale — " How sweetly shines " 31 

The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus — " Nisus, the guardian" 38 

Translation from the Medea of Euripides — " When fierce" 46 
Thoughts suggested by a College Examination — " High in 

the midst " 47 

To a beautiful Quaker — " Sweet girl ! though only once " . . 49 

The Cornelian — " No specious splendour " 50 

An Occasional Prologue to "The Wheel of Fortune" — 

" Since the refinement " 50 

On the Death of Mr. Fox, with the Author's Reply — " Oh 

factious viper " 51 

The Tear—" When Friendship or Love " 52 

Reply to some Verses of J. M. B. Pigot, Esq., on the Cruelty 

of his Mistress — " Why, Pigot, complain " 53 

To the sighing Strephon — " Your pardon, my friend " .... 54 

To Eliza — " Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect " . . . . 55 

Lachia y Gair — " Away, ye gay landscapes " 55 

To Romance — " Parent of golden dreams " 56 

Answer to some elegant Verses sent by a Friend to the 

Author — " Candour compels me " 58 

Elegy on Newstead Abbey — " Newstead ! fast-falling" .... 59 

ChiToich Recollections — " When slow disease" 63 

Answer to a beautiful Poem, entitled " The Common Lot" 

— M Montgomery ! true, the common lot" 71 

Lines addressed to the Rev. J. T. Becher, on his advising 

the Author to mix more with Society — " Dear Becher, 

you tell me " 72 

The Death of Calmar and Orla— " Dear are the days " 73 

To Edward Noel Long, Esq. — " Dear Long, in this " 76 

To a Lady—" Oh ! had my fate " , 78 

" I would I were a careless child " 79 

■• When I roved a young Highlander " 80 

To George, Earl Delawar — " Oh ! yes, I will own " 81 

To the Earl of Clare—" Friend of my youth " 82 

Lines written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow 

— " Spot of my youth " 84 

lines inscribed upon a Cup formed from a Skull — " Start 

not— nor deem ' 85 

On rsvuating Harrow — " Here once engaged " ri6 

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers 87 

PosUoript to the Second Edition 114 

Lines written in an Album at Malta — " As o'ei the cold" .... 115 

To Florence—" Oh Lady ! when I left " 115 

StuuQiHS oomposed during a Thunder-storm — " Chill and niirk" 110 



-;> 



CONTENTS. 



VII 



Stanzas written on passing the Ambracian Gulf — " Througn 

cloudless skios " P&yt 

" The spell is broke, the charm is flown " 

ltoply to Lines written in the Travellers' Book at Orchomenus 

— " The modest bard " 

" Maid of Athens, ere we part " 

Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos— " if, in tho 

month " 

Lines writton beneath a Picture — " Dear object " 

Translation of the famous Greek War Song — " Sors of the 

Greeks" 

Translation of the Romaic Song — " I enter thy garden " .... 

The Curse of Minerva 

On Parting — " The kiss, dear maid " 

To Thyrza— " Without a stone " 

" Away, away, ye notes of woe " 

" One struggle more, and I am free " 

Euthanasia — " When Time, or soon or late " 

" And thou art dead, as young as fair " 

" If sometimes in the haunts of men " 

On a Cornelian Heart — " Ill-fated heart n 

Lines to a Lady Weeping — " Weep, daughter " 

" The chain I gave was fair to view " 

To Samuel Rogers, Esq. — " Absent or present " 

Address, spoken at the opening of Drury Lane Theatre, Satur- 
day, October 10, 1812— " In one dread night " 

Verses found in a Summer-house at Hales-Owen — " When 
Dryden's fool " ■ 

The Waltz • an Apostrophic Hymn 

To Time — " Time ! on whose arbitrary wing " 

" Thou art not false, but thou art fickle " 

" Remember him, whom passion's power " 

The Giaour : A Fragment of a Turkish Tale 

Impromptu, in Reply to a Friend — " When, from the heart " 

The Bride of Abydos : A Turkish Tale 

To Genevra — " Thine eyes' blue tenderness" 

The Corsair 

Windsor Poetics — " Famed for contemptuous "' 

Poems on Napoleon 

Stanzas for Music — " I speak not, I trace not ' 

" Fill the goblet again ! for I never before " 

Address intended to have been spoken at the Caledonian Meet- 
ing, 1814— " Who hath not glow'd " 

Lara : A Tale 

Condolatory Address to Sarah, Countess of Jersey — " When 
the vam triumph " 

Elegiac Stanzas on the Death of Sir Peter Parker, Bart. — 
" There is a tear " 

To Belshazaar — " Belshazzar ! from the banquet " 



1U 

118 

119 
Ui 

120 
120 

121 
122 

123 

129 

130 

131 

132 

133 

34 

J6 

37 

37 

37 



1 
1 
1 
1 
1 
138 

138 

140 

141 

148 
149 
150 

152 

182 
183 

210 
212 

252 
253 
262 
262 

263 

265 

291 

292 
5^3 






♦#- 



viii CONTENTS. 

Eebrew Melodies — 

" She walks in beauty " Page 294 

* ' The harp the monarch minstrel swept " 291- 

i( If that high world" _ 295 

« The wild gazelle " , 295 

w Oh ! weep for those n r 296 

** On Jordan's banks" 296 

Jephtha's Daughter — " Since our Country " 296 

" Oh ! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom " 297 

" My soul is dark " 297 

11 I saw thee weep " 298 

" Thy days are done " 298 

Song of Saul before his last battle — " Warriors and chiefs" 299 

Saul—" Thou whose spell " 299 

All is Vanity — " Fame, wisdom, love " 300 

" When coldness wraps this suffering clay " 300 

Vision of Belshazzar — " The King was on his throne " .... 301 

" Sun of the sleepless " 302 

" Were my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be " 302 

Herod's Lament for Mariamne — " Oh ! Mariamne " 303 

On the day of the Destruction of Jerusalem — " From the 

last hill " 303 

By the Rivers of Babylon — " We sate down and wept " . . . . 304 

Destruction of Sennacherib — " The Assyrian came " 304 

*' A spirit pass'd before me " 305 

Stanzas for Music — " There be none" 305 

The Siege op Corinth 306 

Stanzas for Music — " Thero's not a joy " 328 

Parisika 330 

" Fare thee well ! and if for ever" 343 

K Sketch—" Born in the garret " 344 

Btanzas to Augusta — " When all around " 34 fi 

The Prisoner op Chillon 34ft 

Monody on the Death of Sheridan — " When the last sunshine" 358 

Stanzas to Augusta — " Though the day w 361 

Epistle to Augusta — " My sister ! my sweet sister " 362 

The Dream „ 365 

Darkness — " I had a dream " , . . . J>69 

Churchill's Grave — " I stood beside the grave " 371 

Prometheus — " Titan ! to whose immortal eyes" 372 

A Fragment—" Could I remount" 373 

To Lake Leman — " Rousseau — Voltaire, &c. w 374 

LiutoS on hearing that Lady Byron was ill — " And thou wert 

sad" 374 

Manfred : A Dramatic Poem 876 

*' Bright be the place of thy soul " 406 

Stanzas for Music — " They say that hope " 407 

The Lament op Tasso 408 

Cain : A Mystery , 4 Li 

The Vision of Judgment? ,. ., 46* 



^h 



CO A TEATS. 



IX 



H eaven and Earth ! A Mystery Page 481 

Childb Harold's Pilgrimage *....,..*. 607 

Canto I 610 

Canto II 632 

Canto III 555 

Canto IV 683 

Beppo 624 

Mazeppa i. ,, .. 643 

M [SCELLANEOUS— 

Epitaph, on John Adams, ot Southwell ....,<.,,.,»...».. 66) 

" Farewell ! if ever fondest prayer" 661 

" When we two parted" 661 

To a youthful Friend 662 

11 Well ! thou art happy" 664 

Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog .... 665 

To a Lady . . . , 666 

" Remind me not, remind me not" 666 

" There was a time, I need not name" 667 

" And wilt thou weep when I am low Sf" 667 

Stanzas to a Lady, on leaving England 668 

" Remember him, whom passion's power" 669 

A very mournful Ballad 671 

To Thomas Moore 673 

Translation of a Romaic Love Song 674 

Extracts from Don Juan — 

" The Isles of Greece" 675 

Fame— "What is the end of fame" 677 

The shipwreck— " The wind increased" 677 

First Love—" 'Tis sweet to hear" 690 

Evening — " Ave Maria ! blessed be the hour" 692 

Haidee— " They carpeted their feet" 693 

Vain Regrets — " But now at thirty " 695 

The Slave-market — " 'Twas a raw day " 696 

Th© Lovers — ' ' The heart — which may be broken " 697 

The Assassination — " The other evening" 698 

Auld Lang Syne—" And all our little feuds " 699 

A Dream — " She dream'd of being alone" 700 

Fame — " Of Poets who come down" 701 

Love and Glory—" O Love ! O Glory f 702 

The Maniac— " A vein had burst" 703 

The Black Friar — " Beware ! beware" 705 

Norman or Newstead Abbey — " To Norman Abbey whirl' d 

the noble pair" 706 

Julia's Portrait — " Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes") 708 

Juan in Love — " Young Juan wander'd" 709 

A Scene in Greece — " And further on a troop" 710 

Twilight—" Sv>eet hour of twilight ! " 711 

A Group of Beauties — " Of those who had most genius" . . 711 

A Picture — " She stood a moment as a Pythoness" 712 

War — " All was prepared" 7±3 

' 'ontemporary Poets — " Sir Walter reigu'd before me" .... 714 



\ ; 



4 



4- 



K CONTENTS. 

Worldly Wealth — " Why call the miser miserable °. . 716 

Match-making — " How all the needy" 7 ltf 

Quixotism — " Rough Johnson, the great moralist M 717 

Human Motives — " I hate a motive" 718 

Truth— " 'Tis strange, but true " P 713 

Depertod Pleasures- — u The evaporation of e j<?you9 day"' . . 'Ill) 




1> 



*©■ 



.r 



LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 



" He Is now at rest 1 
And praise and blame fall on his ears alike, 
Now dull in death. Yes, Byron, thou art gone I 
Gone like a star that through the firmament 
Shot and was lost, in its eccentric course, 
Dazzling, perplexing." 
<- Rogers. 

Is the time yet come for a just and reliable life of Byron to be 
written ? May the veil be lifted from the brow of truth without 
making revealments that would annoy, if not injure, still living 
actors in his short but eventful drama T Not yet. The principal 
heroine of that drama still exists, and, amidst contumely, harsh 
interpretations, and doubts, contending with a nation's partiality 
for one of its greatest geniuses, she has borne her faculties so 
meekly, and her wrongs so unobtrusively, that the respect of 
silence is due to the repose of the sunset of a life whose meridian 
was so disturbed by storms. 

The first thing that strikes a writer who would produce a life of 
Byron, however short, is his universally-acknowledged genius — a 
genius so exalted, so various, and, in every view, so extraordinary, 
that we say with his friend, the poet whose lines I have adopted as 
my motto, it is dazzling, perplexing I Genius is that aptitude for 
a particular object of the human mind which, like the rays con- 
centrated in the focus of the burning glass, produces intense effect 
where it is directed. Mankind vary in this faculty as wonderfully 
as they do in their features, and wisely has Providence so ordered 
it, for thus this divine emanation becomes universally beneficial. 
But as, whilst acknowledging gratefully the common and least 
showy blessings that surround us on the earth, our love and admi- 
ration are principally given to its sublime sunsets, its mildly 
beautiful moonlights, its glittering stars, its more near and dear 
sweet flowers, so have the efforts of genius, which have beeo 



■*d 



xii LIFE OF BYRON. 

principal!/ directed to the enjoyments of life, ever engrossed the 
warmest of our sympathies. Among these, as if by general accord, 
Poetry stands highest; it is considered to contain more divine 
inspiration than any other faculty of the mind, and the great 
Poets of the world are more glorified by it than its warriors, its 
statesmen, or its philosophers : it is not my business either to 
question or admit the justice of this, but so it is. 

Byron was, then, a man of extraordinary genius, and was a 
Poet ; this was the talent intrusted to him ; let us seo how, in a 
short but fitful career, he employed it. As it never, for a moment, 
was absent from his own thoughts, and as he never allows hie 
millions of readers to forget it, he was not only of God's nobility, 
but man's ; his family, both by father and mother, was of high 
rank. Pie is said to be descended from one of the Norman ad- 
venturers who came over with William ; some ancestors dis- 
tinguished themselves in the Crusades, others in the Wars of the 
Roses. Sir John Byron had the good fortune to be a favourite oi 
that capricious tyrant, Henry VIII., at a time when the dissolution 
of the monasteries placed rich gifts in the hands of the monarch, 
and to him the family owed the possession of Newstead Abbey, 
which the poet's fame has converted into a shrine sacred to genius. 
In the troubles of the reign of Charles I., the Byrons were con- 
spicuous for their loyalty, there having been no less than eight 
brothers of the family in the field at once. The monarch's grati- 
tude raised them from a knightly to a nob)e house, and they 
became Barons Byron, of Rochdale. They were moderately 
wealthy, but Charles could bestow honours more easily than 
estates, and the extravagances and eccentricities of several of the 
poet's ancestors did not leave him a very rich inheritance. His 
descent was no less noble on the mother's side ; indeed, she said 
more so, as she boasted she was of the old stock of the Gordons, 
which claimed priority even over the branch now holding ihe ducai 
title in that family. His mother was an heiress, which appears to 
have boon her only attraction in the eyes of the gay Captain Byron, 
for theirs proved a most unhappy marriage, embittered and em- 
broiled by the debts and extravagance of the husband, and tbe 
violent, passionate disposition of the wife. It was one of those 
strange circumstances upon which Lord Byron delighted to dwell, 
as denoting him of a peculiar race, that his father, his great-uncie 
whom he succeeded, and himself, were all separated from their 
wives : all, indeed, were eccentric, and under the dominion of their 
passions. Sometimes living together, sometimes apart, Byron's 
parents never afforded him the remembrance of a happy, peaceful 
home ; and the death of his father, when he was only in the third 
year of his age, left him under the control of a mother as little 



T 






LIFE OF BYRON, xiii 

Utiatlfiad to bring up a boy of a wayward and spirited disposition 
as she possibly could be. It is so completely an established fact, 
that all superior men have had superior mothers, that even to 
remark upon it is trite ; but it is no less true, that mothers who are 
not remarkable for capacities or virtues, have a great influence 
upon their sons, particularly when circumstances make the son an 
object of more than common interest. Now, George Byron waa 
an only child, and there was, moreover, only one life between him 
and a baronial title and estates, and this, with a proud woman like 
Mrs. Byron, led to injudicious indulgences and vauntings which 
the furies of her violent temper could not counteract. Amidst , 
quarrels, beatings, the flight of all sorts of missiles, and the most 
coarse intemperate language, he was never allowed to forget he 
was of the old stock of the Gordons of Gight, and of that of the 
Barons of Newstead. There can be no doubt that the disposition 
which was the foundation of most of his aberrations was due to 
the misfortune of his having a mother whose conduct made her the 
object of his ridicule, and who never commanded his respect. 

George Gordon Byron was born in Holies Street, London, on the 
22nd of January, 1788. In 1790, his mother took him to Aberdeen, 
where he was brought up as injudiciously as was to be expected 
from such a mother in straitened circumstances. Owing, as ha 
afterwards used to declare, to the temper of his mother, he receive-! 
an injury at his birth, by which one of his feet became deformed, 
and rendered him lame for life. We have no space for any account 
of the little anecdotes related of his early boyhood, nor, indeed, do 
we attach much consequence to such ; for, although there may be 
some foundation for them, whenever the man proves remarkable, 
all related of the boy is so highly coloured, that we have no regret 
\n consigning his verses to the Old Woman and the Moon, to the 
same apochryphal chapter as Johnson's Epitaph to the Duck. All 
that is told makes him appear exactly what he afterwards proved 
to be-^passionate, self-willed, spirited, shrewd, with occasional but 
rare glimpses of feeling — indeed, he had nothing to bestow feeling 
or affection upon. He became quite a Scotch boy, in manners and 
language, receiving no notice or encouragement from his great- 
uncle, even when the death of the relation who stood between him 
and the title, had made him the presumptive heir : the old baron 
only spoke of him as "the little boy at Aberdeen." In 1798, when 
he was in his eleventh year, his great-uncle died, and he succeeded 
to the family titles and estates, upon which he was made a ward of 
Chancery, and removed from Aberdeen to Newstead Abbey. His 
accession of rank made his lameness a matter of increased con- 
sequence, and he was placed in the hands oi an empiric at Notting- 
ham, who onlj inflicted pain upon him, without- -any bonofit* 



%£J 






xiv LIFE OF BYRON. 

Finding no g/>od result from this, he was taken to London, for th« 
advice of Dr. Baillie ; but all proved in vain. 

His education, which had amounted to nothing at Aberdeen, now 
became a serious subject, and he was placed under Dr. Glennie. of 
Dulwich ; but all the worthy doctor's efforts were rendered abortive 
by the miscond-uct of his mother ; no regularity in his attendance, 
no persistency in his studies required, he found, if he made an obj ect 
of ehe boy's continuance with him, that he should be the slave of 
ooth son and mother. There are some little pleasing anecdotes of 
this period related by the doctor, but I really can only consign 
them to the apochryphal chapter before mentioned. Here, how- 
ever, his guardian, Lord Carlisle, interfered, and he was sent to 
Harrow. 

Some account for his character in one way, some in another : one 
says it was created by becoming a lord at so early an age ; another, 
more weakly, attributes it to a disappointed passion — but, it is my 
opinion, it was stamped by his being sent to Harrow. Had he 
been placed with one of the many worthy and learned men who, 
with a limited number of pupils, undertake the education of the 
morals and the heart, as well as of the intellect, at a distance from 
London, and out of the reach of his mother's influence, he might 
have become a good, useful member of society, as well as an orna- 
ment to it. He was plunged into the vortex of a great publio 
school, without a single home affection to counteract the pernicious 
effects of associating with boys becoming men, proud of their 
initiatory steps in vice, and of their sphere in life, which rendered 
them, in their young opinions, above control. It is true his mind 
was cultivated, and his genius here imped its wings, but it was 
at the expense of his moral character. Nothing can be worse than 
educating boys in large masses, where there is great disparity in 
ages ; and where the youngest, on entering, become the slaves of 
the elders, and the spectators and auditors of all they do and say. 
The fag treasures all the lessons burnt into his memory, to practise 
(.hem when his turn comes. At Harrow, however, he was better 
on* than he would have been at Westminster ; there was a gentle- 
manly tone preserved in his errors. He was not only under an 
able master, but he was contemporary with several boys who have 
turned out eminent men. He made up for lost time by rapid im- 
provement, but, like all great poets, he was rather a desultory 
reader than an ardent votary of any particular branch of know- 
ledge. The quantity he read, after he had acquired a love of 
reading, is astonishing, particularly when we see how, according 
to his own account, he passed his school leisure, "in rowing, 
rebolling, breaking bounds, and mischinf of every kind." One 



<> 






LIFE OF BYRON. xv 

peat advantage was gained — the groat public school was above the 
Dontrol of his mother. 

In the third year after going to Harrow, he passed his vacation 
at Nottingham, about ten miles from Newstead, and, in a visit to 
Annesley, the residence of a neighbouring gentleman, formed a 
boyish attachment, which he was afterwards accustomed to assert, 
had a great influence on his life. Miss Mary Chaworth's family 
name was associated with that of Byron in a way to create a 
romantic feeling in a mind like his. The great-uncle whom he 
succeeded, seems to have been a violent man, completely the slave 
of his passions and caprices ; and he had, in consequence of a 
foolish quarrel about the quantity of game on their relative estates, 
killed the grandfather of that young lady in a duel. It is strange 
that so many accounts have said that the gentleman who fell in 
this fatal affair was Miss Chaworth's father ; even so respectable a 
work as "Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature" has it so. 
The duel took place at least twenty years before Miss Chaworth 
was born. Upon this episode I must beg to say a few words. 
When these young persons met at this period, Byron was a fat, 
lomewhat uncouth boy of sixteen, brusque in his manners and hot 
.In disposition. Miss Chaworth was a handsome young lady of 
eighteen, formed for the world, moving in it, with her hand and 
affections engaged to a gentleman of the name of Musters. From 
his infancy, Byron had given way to the impulses of his wishes, and 
continued to do so through the whole of his life, without any 
reference to the feelings of others. Although aware of Miss 
Chaworth's position, he seems rather to have cherished than 
checked the passion he conceived for her, and which she, with 
characteristic mildness, received as a transient boyish fancy, and* 
while candidly revealing the state of her own affections, offered 
him her friendship. There is nothing in the tenor of his life and 
actions to lead us to place faith in the depth of this juvenile at- 
tachment ; it was poetical to recur to it occasionally, but it was 
likewise inconsiderate towards the object of it, and no proof of its 
truth : he who truly toves, places her happiness above the gratifica- 
tion of showing he can write affecting verses. Miss Chaworth's mar- 
riage proved to be anything but a happy one : and the unenviab'e 
notoriety which Byron's attachment procured her, I am assured, 
made a bad husband worse. From the first, she had treated him 
with single-hearted candour, and he had nothing to complain of 
but his own weakness or selfishness. As to his disappointment 
Having any effect upon his after-career, it is preposterous to 
Imagine ; there is not a single trait of character to show that be 
could ever have settled down into happy domestic life ; if he had 



xvi LIFE OF BYRO.V. 



married Miss Chaworth, she would have experienced the s&ine fate 
as Lady Byron's, without, perhaps, that lady's means and firmness 
to free herself from a life of misery. The '* Dream" is a beautiful 
poem, but that is all ; and the reader must not be led by it to 
suppose that the lady's sorrows proceeded from her having refused 
the love of one who had rendered himself famous. Sho, with a 
family, had too many real griefs to be affected by anything so 
factitious as his persistent poetical whining, more the effects of 
wounded vanity than of disappointed love. We can only account 
for the importance Moore attaches to this affair, by the circum- 
stance of his being himself a poet. 

As regarded his education, his residence at Harrow of five years 
produced as much benefit as could be expected ; he acquired quite 
scholarship enough for an original poet, or to qualify him for the 
position his rank entitled him to take. The pride of birth, so 
carefully instilled by his mother, acted here as strongly as it did 
in his after-life ; he had his pets among the untitled and the weak, 
but his principal associates were the noble by descent and d aring in 
action ; he could patronize poor little Peel, but he formed no con- 
nection with him to last beyond school-fellowship. From Harrow 
he went to Cambridge, where he managed, in the easy way known 
to the noble, to take a degree, but certainly benefited but little 
otherwise. He distinguished himself, however, by many eccen- 
tricities, among which may be reckoned his strange animal par- 
tialities. He kept a bear ; and his canine favourites were of the 
bull-dog breed, or others of a large and formidable strength and 
size. Considering his lameness, he was a pretty good cricketer, 
and was expert in boxing, single-stick, and other athletic exercises. 
But his physical deficiency did not extend to the water ; he was an 
excellent swimmer, and could handle an oar manfully. He speaks 
frequently of his riding, but he never was a good horseman ; and 
that cannot be attributed to his deformed foot, for the Lord Barry- 
more, surnamed Cripplegate, was much more lame, in the same 
way, than Lord Byron, and he was a first-rate rider, though a 
heavy man. The Marquis of Anglesea, though he left a leg 
beneath a monument at Waterloo, continued, as he had been, oije. 
of the best gentlemen riders in Europe. 

His position was a dangerous one for a young man of his temper- 
ment. Endowed by nature with an exceedingly handsome face 
and person, a warm constitution, and a boundless imagination, 
instead of laying down for himself a plan of honourable exertion 
and self-government, that might have enabled him to relieve his 
estates from their encumbrances, and support the peerage with 
dignity, he gave himself up to the unchecked control of his passions. 
Unfortumtoly, he had no family check ; his mother ho dc^piaod* 



-> 



X- 






LIFE OF BYRON. xvii 

and not without cause ; whilst Lord Carlisle, his only relative who 
might, from his own position, have interfered with any chance ol 
success, did not seem to think him worth notice. He was a peer, 
though not rich ; when he came of age he would be possessed of 
estates ; and such a young man can generally find usurers bold and 
calculating enough to furnish him for a time with the means of 
indulgence. From the time he went to Cambridge, he plunged 
recklessly into dissipations, which gave a tone and colour to all he 
afterwards wrote. He had, unfortunately, no home ; I say so, 
although convinced he would never have been a domesticated man ; 
but if he had had any one he loved to direct his energies in a light 
course, his genius might have been a far greater public blessing 
than it has proved. But this person must have been some one he 
held in awe, whom he respected more than he loved ; the equal 
passion of husband and wife would never have effected good. His 
passions always took their birth from impulses, consequently they 
were sensual and evanescent. We frequently indulge in historical 
calculations of what would have happened if such and such things 
had not taken place — what might Byron have proved if his father 
had been a Chatham to give an impetus to his genius ? 

The nature of his early readings, he says, however, made him a 
poet, and his position gave a colouring to his writings. Before ha 
left Cambridge, he had composed many pieces of various merits, 
some little more than school-boy rhymes, others denoting the "nre 
that burned within him," and he became ambitious to see himsel! 
in print ; but, at the solicitations of a friend, submitted to the cruel 
sacrifice of burning his darling offspring, after they were in type. 
In his twentieth year, he, however, published the collection entitled 
"Hours of Idleness," began an epic poem, called "Bosworth 
Field," and wrote part of a novel : and this amidst dissipation of 
the wildest and least refined nature. With scanty means, and 
uncountenanced by any leaders of rank and fashion, he did not now 
enjoy the entrie into families of distinction, which his fame after- 
wards procured him; so that his pleasures were of a gross, unsocial 
nature. But this was part of his poetical education ; his wildest 
excess*** furnished materials for his great poems, both as to facts 
and reflections: "Almost all Don Juan," he said, "is real life, 
either my own or other people's." 

Had Byron not been a lord, his juvenile poetical effusions 
«n>uld, most likely, have been allowed to glide unnoticed down tko 
stream of oblivion ; but the intrusion of a peer into the republic of 
letters, was as bold as that of a parvenu savant into the society of 
peers, and a great Northern critic undertook to whip the rhyming 
fancy o'it of the noble young poet. This is not the only mistake of 
tee kind critics have made— Keats they are said to have killed «« 



xviii LIFE OF BYRON. 

the whipping ; but they only roused the patrician blood of Byron ; 
instead of finding an humble victim, they caught a Tartar. 
When anything otf ended him, he was a prey to rage of the most 
appalling nature, but, contrary to the generality of passionate 
people, his anger was deep-rooted, and sought vent in action. 
Soon after fehe appearance of the critique in the Edinburgh 
Review, he took up his residence at Newstead, and sot about the 
composition of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers." One of 
the most surprising peculiarities of his poetical writings, is that 
they were produced whilst he was in a state of excitement of the 
strongest kind, and of a nature apparently opposed to composition. 
His mode of life at Newstead has, no doubt, been exaggerated, as 
was almost all he ever did. He entertained an idea that a Byron 
must be eccentric, and his orgies were marked by peculiarity a* 
much as by excess. The crew of which he was the Comus, were 
clothed as monks ; they quaffed their wine from a cup made of a 
ikull, and in their conversation, morals, and habits, they took an 
unboundedly free and unusual latitude. This society, notwith 
^ anding the talents of several of its members, always appeared to 
me to be a poor copy of the same sort of party over which Jack 
Wilkes had presided half a century before. The worst result of 
this was, that it hardened his nature prematurely ; he made the 
most of his obliquities, and boasted of his profligacy. 

On the 22nd of January, 1809, he came of age ; on the 13th of 
March he took his seat in the House of Lords, and on the 16th of 
the same month published his celebrated reply to the Edinburgh 
Review, in " English Bards and Scotch Reviewers." This reply 
Touchstone would, no doubt, have characterized as " a counter- 
check quarrelsome :" it angered great part of the literary world ; 
but it, at the same, proved the ability of thw young poet, and that 
he was too good a master of the fence of satire to be again 
attacked with impunity. His coming of age was celebrated at 
Newstead Abbey in the old English baronial fashion ; a roasted ox, 
floods of ale, &c, being bestowed upon the tenantry, and offered 
to all oomers. His appearance in the House of Lords, though an 
affair of consequence to him, excited but little attention in that 
august assembly ; they did not dream of the genius that was 
come among them, and his connection was so limited that his 
unfriended position affected him deeply. Even his relation, Lord 
Carlisle, offered him no countenance, and the Chancellor was so 
dilatory and indifferent in preparing the necessary papers, that 
when he apologized for the delay, Byron could not restrain the 
cynical reply that rose spontaneously to his lips : — " Your Lord- 
ship," said he, "is like Tom Thumb — you have done your d;»tj.^ 
but you have done no more." 



<> 






LIFE OF EYRON. xix 

With utrong and never regulated passions, great pride of birth, 
b full sense of his abilities, and little but debts and destitution 
before him, he was so dopressed in spirits that a profound oynicisnj 
took possession of his mind, and from that hour was the prevailing 
feature of his character. Mr. Moore, in his Memoirs, talks a great 
deal of what I think nonsense about a disappointed heart am! 
waste affections ; Lord Byron was not the man to be crushed by 
such poetical feelings. He was, perhaps, as vain a man as ever 
lived, he was extravagantly sensitive, deeply alive to neglect, and 
looking for too much admiration before he had earned it. Witp 
the pride of a poet, Moore says, " Luckily he became a poet and 
not a legislator." Had his poetry proved such as to have been a 
blossing to his fellow-men, instead of only dazzling and astonishing 
them, I should have agreed with him ; as it is, I cannot but think 
one good law would weigh very heavily in the balance against it. 
A man who is a born British peer is born to honourable duties, 
and the chance possessor of that elevated rank, has no right to 
boast of it when he neglects them. He could not say with hi# 
favourite Pope : 

" I left no calling for this idle trade, 
No duty broke." 

With his vast talents, and the position he was placed in, he should 
have shaken off his annoyances and difficulties " like dewdrops 
from the lion's mane," and have become a great, good man, as well 
as a splendid genius. It cannot be denied that mauy circum- 
stances conspired to give the bias to his genius, and the tone to 
his character; the poetical mind is too apt to let the idiosnycrasy 
of the man associate itself with the flights of imagination, which 
is sure to engender vanity, egotism, disappointment, and cynicism. 
The poet fancies his mission so exalted, that all the world should 
pay it homage, whereas nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every 
thousand of his fellow-men care not a straw for him or his verse. 
While struggling with the difficulties created by high rank, pride 
of birth, ungovernable passions, and a slender income, the severe 
criticism of the Edinburgh Review seems to have decided his 
fate : he answered that review, his answer proved his ability and 
was very miich admired ; he had found he possessed a weapon 
which could wound the world which he falsely thought his enemy, 
and from that hour to the day of his death, he became a cynic and 
a. satirist ; the joyous spirit which had given zest to his debauche- 
ries was changed to gibing mockery, and everybody and every- 
thing was viewed through the distorted medium of selfishness, 
embittered by poverty and cynicism, rendered almost super* 
Lamaclv keen br extraordinary genius. 






xx LIFE OF BYRON. 

ouch was the tone of mind in which Lord Byron left England ta 
the summer of the year he came of age, to travel, more with the 
hope of getting ride of home, that is of his country, than with the 
view of acquiring knowledge. But such a penetrating, observant 
mind could not avoid accumulating additions to his stores at every 
step, and few great writers have enjoyed such extraordinary 
opportunities. No poetry of a high rank was ever so completely 
founded upon facts as Byron's ; it is true his brilliant fancy threw 
those facts out in new and striking lights, or covered them with 
beautiful ornaments, but all were drawn from himself, his friends, 
the scenes he had actually beheld, or the books he had read. 
This gives a solidity, if I may be allowed the word, to all he wrote, 
because it makes it all intelligible. Nothing could be more 
different than his genius and that of Shelley, in this respect. 
Shelley was possessed of an inventive, unbounded fancy ; if there 
is a reality in his poetry, it lies too deep for common observers, and 
whilst idolized by a few, he will never be generally understood 01 
appreciated as he perhaps deserves. 

Consistently with this self-painting, the poem with which his 
mind must have been busy during his first travels, is entirely eslf- 
L<?flective, that is to say, his own actual adventures, wanderings 
rind thoughts. And what an astonishing grasp of faculties does 
" Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" display! "To a Poet," says 
Johnson, in Rasselas, " nothing can be useless. Whatever is 
beautiful and whatever is dreadful must be familiar to his imagina- 
tion : he must be conversant with all that is awfully vast or 
elegantly little." After this direction is "Childe Harold" written, 
but with a much wider scope ; the vices, the follies, the fallacies, 
the eccentricities of mankind are rendered subject to the muse as 
well as the poetical elements, and all tinged by the cynical spirit of 
the writer, like the sowpgon of vinegar wbich gave piquancy to 
many of Soyer's favourite dishes. 

If confined to the Old World, Byron'3 tiavels were as judiciously 
directed as possible. In his first wanderings he seems to have 
been in search of the beautiful and the classic, which was natural 
for a young man educated, as it is the fashion at our high schools 
and colleges, upon the writings left us by Greece and Rome. His 
first place of halt was Lisbon, whose beautiful bay must have beet 
strongly provocative of a love of travel, whilst the degradation o* 
the inhabitants of the country furnished ample matter for th£ 
Indulgence of his cynical mood. From Lisbon he went to Seville and 
Cadia, still observing all, and never forgetting to throw woman, the 
principal object of his thoughts through life, into the foreground of 
every picture he took. He then visited Malta, Prevessa, Salaro, 
kria, Joannini, Zeltza, and Tepaleen, where he was introduced to 



♦«> 






LIFE OF BYRON. x>i 

AH Pasha. Gratified with his interview, he returned to Joantnni. 
and there began to transfer to paper the impressions of his pil- 
grimage, in the poem which will prove his principal claim to © 
ttiche in the Temple of Fame. 

1 have not space to follow him through his delightful wanderings 
■midst classic regions, though perfectly entering into his enjoy- 
ment of them. No place illustrated by great men or importani 
events was neglected, and, in addition to the great poem, which 
must have been always prominent in his mind, the muse was 
frequently called upon to commemorate striking scenes and 
incidents, or interesting persons. From his self-acknowledged 
libertine character, every female he writes verses upon is supposed 
to have been a mistress ; but, although by no means disposed to be 
the champion of his continence, I am convinced there are many 
exceptions to this, and that to the above-mentioned foolish 
boasting may be added a considerable quantity of the fiction of 
poetical license. He remained six weeks at Athens, for the sake 
of viewing all the classic scenes of that interesting country ; anl 
though he addressed "Maid of Athens, &c." to the daughter of 
the house in which he was located, before he quitted that city, 
there is not even a suspicion that he did not leave her untainted by 
the scant morality of London and Cambridge. 

He seemed determined to leave no spot he had ever read of un vi- 
sited ; from Athens he went to Smyrna, where he wrote the second 
santo of " Childe Harold." He next explored the ruins of Ephesus, 
and from thence proceeded to Constantinople. As a poet, he could 
not be so near the great scene of Homer's action, without making a 
pilgrimage to the Troad, which, in spite of Mr. Bryant, confirmed 
nim in his Homeric faith. But he was not satisfied with believing 
la Homer, he wished to prove one of the poetically-registered 
wonders of antiquity practicable, and, without the hope of having 
a Hero to welcome him on his landing, he rivalled Leander by 
swimming from Sestos to Abydos. Of this feat he was always very 
proud, as indeed he was of everything that proved his courage, 
Bgility, or strength: when, in his later travels, he was compelled, as 
he says, " to give an impertinent fellow a good English punch in 
the guts," he did not fail to mention it in more than one letter. 
He made another short sojourn at Constantinople, during which, 
lie enjoyed an excursion through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea 
tad Cyanean Symplegades ; he then returned to Athens, where, 
after a trip to Corinth, and a tour of the Moroa to visit Velay 
Pasha, he seemed to linger as loath to depart, and took up his 
residence at the Franciscan convent. While he^e he wrote many 
of the beautiful smaller pieces rendered interesting by local cir« 
Gimefcaaoes and personal associations, by which they are to be 












XXll 



LIFE OF BY ROW 



traced, among which may be particularly noted " The Curse rf 
Minerva," — a severe, though perhaps well-deserved castigatAon oi 
Lord Elgin, for his depredations upon the sculi>tural remain* of 
Greece. 

After an absence of two years he, in July 1S11, returned to 
England, " a wiser, but I fear not a better man." Whether he 
had been as various and successful in his amours as he would lead 
his readers to think, I know not ; but there was always a reckless- 
ness of the peace of others which led him to write versos to every 
lady ho admired, whatever her position might be. Thoso to Mrs. 
Musters (Miss Chaworth), on his leaving England were, to say the 
least, inconsiderate, and showed no regard for the happiceas of 
the person to whom they were addressed. Of the same class were 
lines to " Florence" (Mrs. Spenser .Smith), each piece beautifully 
proving to the ladies of what little value was his boasted love ; 
take for instance, the last lino of the address to " Mrs. Musters," 
and the verses to " Florence," and the " Maid of Athens," which 
so quickly followed ! Neither in his life nor his writings did Byron 
show the least acquaintance with true, pure love, or a proper 
appreciation of the character of woman. He has a poet's eye for 
beauty, but it is likewise the eye of a sensualist. I! ems 

addressed to " Thyrza," seem to be the only ones on which 
Bocrecy placed its finger ; he never would tell even his most 
intimate friends who she was. Some persons protended that 
thore was likewise a mystery about a period of his travels in 
Greece, in which a tale of horror was mixed up, but I can find 
nothing to prove there was any foundation for it, beyond the 
character of his writings, and the mystification he sometimes 
delighted to deal in. 

On his return to England, he proposed settling at Xewstead. and 
»ent down some furniture to render it more comfortable. He had 
•stablished his mother there before his departure, reversing, in bis 
last letter, the position of mother and son, by sending her advice 
to behave properly to her neighbours, " for you know," he a 
11 you are a vixen." Mrs. Byron had for some years enjoyed a 
pension from government of £300 a year ; why granted nobody 
could discover ; but it must have been a great relief to her needy 
son. His coming home proved the signal for her death ; for, when 
the upholsterer appeared with the furniture, she, from some little 
mistake od his part, flew into one of those fits of rage that used 
to amuse her son so much, but which, in this instance, she carried 
beyond a joke, as the passion produced a fit, and the fit death. 
JLs the mother of a Byron, he, of course, paid her decent respect, 
but he was not likely even to aflect grief. 

Cnce more in London, he fell willingly into the vortex of pleasure 












/ IFF OF I xxiii 

to w'ticn, very shortly great inducements were add~d. On the 
27th of February, he made his first speech in the House of Lords ; 
it was respectable, but yet did not hold out a promise of much 
oratorical excellence, and he seldom spoke afterward*. But, as 
" English Bards" had been closoly connected with his taking his 
Beat, so his first speech was as quickly followed by the gToat event 
of his life, the publication of " Child* Harold." Like several other 
poets, he preforred other comparatively worthless works to this Liis 
host, and was with great difficulty prevailed upon to publish it. 
He however, was persuaded by his distant relation, Mr. Dallas, 
the author of some novels, to whom he gave the copyright. He 
was soon made aware of his error ; for the sensation created by the 
poem was immonse; as he expresses it: " I awoke one morning, and 
found myself famous!" He had no longer to complain of tin 
world's neglect, the danger now was of his being spoiled bj 
adulation. To him who three years before could not gain entrance 
to good society, not only was every door of the great and the 
rich thrown open, but all the fascinations of beauty and pleasure 
were put in force to allure the titled genius into their magic circle. 
His unexpected success put an end to all ideas of retirement ; no 
man ever coveted admiration more keenly, and he now enjoyed it 
to satiety. The very persons he had so freely vituperated in his 
Aatire, felt their anger melt away beneath the rays of his genius, 
and eagerly sought his friendship. It is impossible to trace the 
various reconciliations without a smile. Moore, whom he had 
sharply censured under the name of Little, began with something 
approaching to hostility, but he was easily mollified, and became 
the noble poet's Fidus Achates. I do not say he became his friend, 
in the exalted and scarcely in the wordly meaning of the word ; in 
a letter to Moore, after they had long been on the most intimate 
relations, he says: " I don't know what to say about friendship, I 
never was in friendship but once, in my nineteenth year, and then 
it gave me as much trouble as love. I am afraid, as Whitbread'a 
sire said to the king, who wanted to knight him, I am too old ; 
but, nevertheless, no one wishes you more friends, fame, and 
felicity, than yours, kc." Moore felt this cold-blooded, flippant 
declaration deeply, and made no reply for some time. In fact, 
Byron only told the truth ; he could be kind and generous as a 
patron or protector, but his friendships were like his loves — selfish 
and not proof against absence. His letters are exceedingly pleasant 
reading, but we feel assured that Moore has suppressed many that 
would have betrayed double dealing, and the bulk of them 
are addressed to persons who could be of use to him. The 
romantio friendship he declared for Lord Clare was like his love 
for Mary Duff and Miss Cb.av,orib t nothing but the dream of a 



xxir LIFE OF BYROM. 

youthful fancy, that only rose to his mind when in a more than 
csually morbid state, and never influenced a single action of his 
life. 

To attempt to remark upon " Childe Harold," or the numerous 
poems that now poured from his copious genius like a flood, wera 
& work of supererogation ; England, Europe, the world are ac- 
quainted with their beauties, their peculiarities and their faults. 
Well do I recollect when the question of every intellectual person 
you met was : " Have you seen the G, I, A, 0, U, R ? " for no 
one could pronounce the word, and therefore spelt it. Byron 
proved that no poet since Shakespeare had so deep an insight into 
so many and various objects for poetry : the deepest passions, — 
the most evanescent trifles, — the profoundest feelings, — the most 
heartless cynicisms, — all flowed chaotically from his pen, the most 
astounding discords jostling against each other, and harmonizing 
into a beautiful whole. But wonder was the predominant feeling 
his works created, for they wanted the divine principle of goodness; 
they made man proud of his fellow-man's intellect, but they left 
him no better, and gave birth to no love. Through the whole of 
his writings from "English Bards to the last Canto of "Don 
Juan," there is one prominent character in the scene. I know not 
whether he wished it; if he did, he failed in concealing the original 
from which he drew ; according to the time, the place, and the 
circumstances, u Harold," the " Giaour," the " Corsair," " Lara," 
" Manfred," ay, even " Cain," are all himself. Almost the only 
exception to this is the " Prisoner of Chillon," and it is therefore, 
in my opinion, toe more beautiful. When his domestic differences 
were so blameably brought before the world, this was very much 
against him ; Byron was inseparably connected with his heroes — 
and a man with " one virtue and a thousand crimes," was not 
deemed likely to make a good husband, particularly when that 
single virtue itself looked very like a vice. 

Amidst dissipation, amours, poetry, boxing, and most in- 
congruous pursuits, he seems to have given free course to hi* 
pleasures for a year ; then his increasing difficulties forced upon him 
the necessity for a wealthy marriage or more foreign travel. He 
planned a voyage to Abyssinia, but, in the mean time made pro- 
posals for the hand of Miss Milbanke, an heiress, and a peeress in 
prospective, but was rejected. For a length of time, his pride 
prevented his deriving any pec *niary advantage from his writings, 
and his early copyrights were given away ; but when his scruples 
were once overcome by the kind representations of Mr. Murray, 
the eminent publisher, he seems to have had no objection to aU 
that could be obtained from them, and strikes us, in his letters, aa 
Djo bad hand at driving a bargain. But that time had not yot 



-CIV 









rr 



LIFE OF BYRO.V. xx* 

Vrrived, and, with no diminution in his pleasures, hia debts and 
wants increased. Another year passed away, a* the preceding 
one had done ; dissipation seemed to have no power to dull the 
powers of his mind, or clog the wings of his fancy, some of his 
tnost popular pieces being produced at this time. As a pit-aller, 
he resolved again to enlist Hymen in his favour ; and when we see 
the manner in which his inauspicious marriage was concocted, w» 
cannot at all wonder at the result. He consulted with a friend 
whether he should make proposals to a lady he had not then 
addressed on the subject, or whether he should repeat his offer to 
Miss Milbanke, with whom, though rejected, he had kept up a 
friendly correspondence. His friend, who saw the incompatibility 
of a union with Miss Milbanke, advised him to writ* to the newly- 
mentioned lady, which he accordingly did, and was by her like- 
wise rejected. He then fell back upon Miss Milbap'ce, and wrote 
such " a pretty letter " that his friend's objections were overruled, 
and the important missive was sent. The text of the Memoirs 
gives us no means of telling the sex of this friend, but from the 
"pretty letter," I should think it was a lady — perhaps Lady 
Melbourne. Whether dazzled by his increasing fame, or affected 
by the "pretty letter," no one can tell, but anybody can see that 
Miss Milbanke actad quite as imprudently as Lord Byron, in 
entering into aunion the dangers of which must have been so apparent. 
I-ord Byron was capable of entertaining for a time what he called 
iove, but then it must be with a nature looking up to him, holding 
him as an object worthy of almost worship — this might be a 
nature soft as we are led to suppose the Countess Guiccioli was, 
or fiery as that of Marianna or the Fornarina — but not like Miss 
Milbanke's, metaphysical, mathematical, and reflective. Miss 
Milbanke was good, pious, learned, and highly intellectual — Byron 
was dissipated, to use the mildest word, a sceptic, a man of fiery 
genius, and boasting in his wilfulness — such a match was like the 
bringing together of fire and water, and it is surprising that the 
lady's mother, who is said to have exercised so much influence 
after it had taken place, did not prevent it. After an absence 
from each other of ten months, on the 2nd of January, 1815, they 
were married. A wit has said that the marriage which ends a 
comedy, is frequently the commencement of a tragedy, and truly 
fluoh should I suspect this to have been. Mr. Moore, though, 
throughout his work, more a friendly advocate than a biographer, 
confesses that there was not a particle of love on either side. II 
such was the case, we are totally at a loss to fathom the lady's 
object ; Lord Byron's, notwithstanding his professions to the 
contrary, may be more easily guessed. 

But little immediate advantage accrued; so far, ir.deed, to the 



r -*- 






<<> 



xx vi LIFE OF BY ROW 

aontrary, tLe news of his wealthy marriage brought his creditors 
upon him, and he had eight executions in his house within a year, 
Some few months before, he had expressed a determination not to 
write any more, and to endeavour to suppress what he had already 
published ; but for a man who had inhaled the incense of popularity 
in such copious draughts this was impossible, and he soon appeared 
to write more than ever. He likewise very imprudently mixed 
himself up with the affairs of Drury Lane Theatre ; which, in 
addition to the dangers of les coulisses to such a man, cculd not, it 
any way, be productive of good. 

One short year put an end to his ill-assorted marriage. How it 
had been passed by the parties with respect to each other no one 
<an tell. Byron always persistod in saying he did not know why 
[fidy Byron required to be separated from him, but I should 
think nobody believed him. Had that been the case, he was no'; 
the man to have got out of the tempest quietly ; with his enmity 
to the lady's mother and his want of love for herself, he would 
have battled the difference out in the face of the world instead of 
pouring out his griefs in poetry, or brooding over them in banish- 
ment. Lady Byron acted consistently with her character. She 
imparted her complaints to her parents, and consulted the best 
legal advisers, in Sir Samuel Romilly and Dr. Lushington. The 
latter, at first strongly advised reconciliation, but when put 
completely in possession of the case by Lady Byron, said that 
must be for ever impossible. Romilly and Lushington are more 
than common names to give sanction to an opinion of right or 
wrong, and the lady's dignified silence and exemplary life have, 
I should think, stamped her decision as correct. It is of no use 
to set the mind thinking whether his conduct was that of a madman 
or only that of a slave to his passions ; the truth is never likely to 
be known ; Lady Byron, after this long interval, has too much 
good sense to awaken and gratify a morbid curiosity by any 
revealment. Although, I have no doubt, my opinion may be 
opposed to that of a vast number, I feel glad that the Memoirs 
intrusted to Moore were destroyed. Mark the vindictive feeling, 
the unjust feeling entertained by Byron for all concerned in the 
affair, and then let us say whether an account published after hia 
death could be relied on. His triumph at the lamented death of 
Sir Samuel Romilly is disgraceful to his memory ; he said it wis 
a retribution for his advocacy of Lady Byron. 

Leaving, then, his infant daughter in the care of her mother, 
within three months after the separation, he quitted his native 
country for ever. People who blindly worship genius, without 
properly reflecting how it has been employed, affect to rejoice at 
his banishment, as they ll> ; nk to ;t are due the brilliact effusions 






-&♦ 



L 1FE OF B YR OX. x x vii 

he poured out during the short remainder of his career ; but, 
whilst admitting the splendour, the versatility, the profundity, of 
his genius, I cannot but think that it might have been better 
directed. Such powers are given to so few, that the possessor 
ought to prove a certain blessing to his species — the clever, the 
dazzling, the perplexing, however wonderful, do not constitute all 
ire have a right to expect from God's nobility. 

Lord Byron, at first, as he had done with respect to his writings, 
refusod to benefit by his wife's fortune, but did not persevere iD 
the resolution. He had been on the eve of selling Newstead, and 
had received forfeiture from the proposed purchaser ; but he had 
not effected the sale at his departure. He took a different course 
from his first voyage ; travelling through Flanders, and up the 
Rhine, he chose Switzerland as his first resting-place. With his 
usual felicity, he made his journeyings among the Alps subservient 
to his muse, and he here collected the machinery and scenery of 
his sublime dramatic poem of "Manfred," the hero of the piece he 
had not to travel far in search of. Byron is so essentially a painter 
from realities, that this conscience-stricken metaphysician would 
almost lead us to attach consequence to horrid tales that wei e in 
circulation relative to a part of his sojourn in Greece ; but no,— 
with all his errors, he was an Englishman, and I will not think 
them even possible. 

In Switzerland he renewed his intimacy with Madame de Stael, 
who was more kind to him than she h?.d been in London. The 
author of " Delphine " and " Corinne " was too well versed in the 
theory, if not the practice of love, to be deceived by Byron's 
pretences to the passion. " She attacked me furiously last night," ; 
said he ; " she said I had no right to make love — that I had 
used * * * barbarously — that I had no feeling, and was totally 
insensible to la belle passion, and had been all my life." This 
might be sharp, but it was nevertheless true. But now, in her 
own territory of Copet, and the poet being in a sort of banishment, 
she was not only a hospitable hostess, but a friend. He became 
acquainted with Shelley at Geneva, and notwithstanding the 
difference of their genius, formed something like a friendship for 
him. Shelley was of a knightly family, had great talents, and 
was sceptical and peculiar in his opinions. This all "jumped with 
Byron's humour," but, to judge from his letters, they were never 
very intimate friends. Shelley's genius was of too delicate and 
fanciful a nature to consort completely with the bold, dashing, 
eccentric spirit of Byron — as I before said, in Shelley all was 
imagination, as in Byron all was real. As an excuse for this, the 
latter was accustomed to say : " There should always be some 
foundation of fact for the most airy fabric, and pure invention is 



4* 



*©* 



xxviii LIFE OF BYRON. 

teoi the talent of a liar." Whilst here he wrote " Lines on hoarin^ 
Lady Byron was ill," which are much more cruel than even the 
celebrated " Farewell," and began "Manfred." 

In October he left Switzerland for Italy, a country in which be 
seemed more at home than in any other, and shortly took up a 
kind of settled residence at Venice. He entered upon his initiation 
in Italian manners by falling in love with Marianna, the wife of 
the person in whose house he lodged. He wrote to Rogers "that 
Venice was a famous place for women," which, indeed, he seemed 
to think, for his dissipations wero such as to bring him down to a 
serious illness. But the inexhaustible stores of his mind were 
never left to rust — the third canto of "Childe Harold" was finished, 
" Manfred " had a third act added, a fourth canto of " Childe 
Harold " was begun, and " Beppo " was written. After producing 
" Mazeppa," his genius took its most eccentric, and, perhaps, most 
surprising flight, and he began " Don Juan." Of this astonishing 
production it is difficult to speak, — its elements are so extraordinary, 
bo diversified, and yet each so perfect in its way — the sublime, the 
ridiculous, the pathetic, the humorous, the sarcastic, the benevolent, 
the moral, and the obscene, seem to chase each other along every 
Line, "with artless heed and giddy cunning," till the brain of the 
reader becomes bewildered in the pursuit. And yet, every friend 
to the poet, every friend to morality, must wish that " Don Juan " 
b id never been written — the greater tho genius displayed, the 
more insidious the danger. 

Another amour soon engaged him. He accidentally met with 
a low-born woman, the wife of a miller, with whom ho became 
infatuated. This was one of his magnificent Juno-like charmers, 
and the contests between her and her rival seem to have amused 
him highly : what the reader of his life must think on seeing the 
English Peer of the highest genius so amused is another thing. 
All this time his pen was as active as ever, and though he affected 
to hate the very name of England, no event happened there without 
engaging his attention so far as to set it to work ; his letters 
xmtradict themselves in this respect. Poor Southey seems to havo 
ever remained a favourite butt; the "Vision of Judgment" was 
Bovere, but was almost warranted by the absurdity of the Laureate's 
original. 

In 1820, he had the good fortune to become acquainted with the 
Countess Guiccioli, the wife of an elderly nobleman, and tho 
daughter of a Count Gamba. I say good fortune, as this connection, 
in a ^reat degree, weaned him from the course of low libertinism 
into which he had fallen. The husband became jealous, the young 
wife extravagantly in love with her celebrated foreign lover, and 
her fiunily slightly anxious about their honour. But matters were 



*cf>* 






LIFE OF BYRON, xxix 

tnnnnged as they do those things in Italy ; all parties, at length, 
ssemed tolerably satisfied, except the poor husband, who wax 
compelled to pay his wife a certain income, although deprived oi 
her, and quite conscious that she and the noble poet were happy 
in their loves. A great deal more has been said about Byron's 
attachment to this lady than I think it deserves. With the true 
** Don Juan " spirit, when he was struck with her beauty, diffi- 
cilties only enhanced the pleasure of the pursuit ; but when tboce 
difficulties were overcome, his conduct, his letters, and his asso- 
ciations prove that his love was no more, or at most little more, 
than one of the hundred evanescent flames that had been kindled in 
his inflammable breast. He had been rather cooler in his pursuit of 
pleasure, and the countess, as a lady, associated rather more with 
his mental occupations and gentlemanly feelings than the low women 
with whom he had of late been connected. But that was all. He 
appears, after the first, to be always ready to leave her, and it is 
her attachment to him that produces the appearance of constancy 
on his part. He was anxious to got an eminent portrait-painter 
over — but it was to paint two portraits ; not only that of the fair, 
beautiful, lady-like countess, but that of his vixen love, the magni- 
ficent Italian, the miller's wife. As the melancholy close ap- 
proaches, there is no mention of this lady, and if it be true that 
the ruling passion is strong in death, the evidence is conclusive— 
for, in no account is there any proof of her having engaged one cC 
his last thoughts ; the names of his sister and his daughter were 
murmured from his dying lips, but not that of the devoted Guiccioli. 
Madame de Stael was right ; Byron had never an idea of pure 
exalted love. Of all his multifarious heroines, there is not one to 
excite the sympathies of a well-directed mind. Haide*e has been 
pronounced innocent, but it is the innocence of ignorance, and, 
from the finding of the half-naked boy to the last scene of her 
episode, it is nothing but animal passion. 

About this period occurred one of those abortive attempts which 
the Italians occasionally make to regain their liberty ; attempts 
so ill planned and feebly carried out, that they only serve to rivet 
their chains the tighter. In fact, since Italy became a nation of 
artists, it has ceased to be a nation of freemen ; and such will be 
the case with all countries ; when wealth and luxury lead to un- 
due encouragement of the arts, the manly virtues, in every empire, 
have speedily died away. Very wrongly as well as imprudently, 
Lord Byron took not only an interest, but a part in this ill-con- 
certed rising. However strong his sympathies may be with what 
he considers a suffering people, a man allowed to live in a foreign 
country can never be justified in interfering in its revolutione. 
Bypon managed to keep out of the hands of the Aus>trians, \x& 



<> 



xxx LIFE OF BYRON, 

when, as Madame Guir-cioli said, " the Italians had proved them* 
■selves only fit to compose operas," his lady-love and her father and 
brother were forced to leave Ravenna. Byron was induced to 
follow them very unwillingly. Before quitting a place to which he 
had become attached, he sent for Shelley, who obeyed the voice ol 
friendship. They then went together, and resided near each other 
at Genoa. Here he was joined, I believe on invitation, by Leigh 
Hunt and his family, to whom he had been introduced by Moore, 
when Hunt was suffering under royal persecution. This uus an 
association that could not lead to good. Hunt had made himself 
a name by his talents, and was, perhaps justly, vain of it. Byron 
had very far superior talents, and was, at the same time, nobly 
born and aristocratically bred — the habits, the prejudices, the very 
abilities of the two men clashed when they came in contact, and 
neither of them gained honour by the association. Byron disap- 
pointed the hopes of a man struggling with an adverse world, and 
Hunt, by the publication of a book on the subject, proved himself 
ungrateful for what benefits he had received. In conjunction with 
Hunt's brother, John, they started a periodical, called the 
" Liberal ; " but it came to nothing. Byron wus not the mun to 
work in partnership with anybody. 

While residing here, the melancholy death of Shelley took place, 
a circumstance as worldly-wide known as the genius of the man. 
Much as 1 admire his writings, I have not space to comment upon 
them or him : a few garbled remarks would be unworthy of the 
subject. 

I have not judged it noccssary to mention Lord Byron's works 
regularly as they came out, because the very naming of them must 
lead to a notice of their merits, and that would fill a volume, 
whereas my task is bounded to a few pages. But if we look at the 
list of his writings and contemplate their bulk, and then reflect 
that they were all written in eighteen years, between eighteen and 
thirty-six, we are almost as much astonished at their number as 
their brilliancy. I am led to make this remark by the prodigality 
with which he seems to have poured out one great production 
after another, while resident in Italy. Neither dissipation, love, 
conspiracy, friendships nor enmities, seem to have checked the 
stream, but rather to have increased its abundance. 

He had sold Newstead, and the death of Lady Noel added con- 
siderably to his income, which was now ample. I will not venture 
upon any discussion of her ladyship's conduct in the unfortunate 
separation ; but, if we consider Byron's writings on the occasion, 
and his frequent coarse verbal and written allusions to the mother of 
his wife — and that lady's resentment, which carried her so far as 
to leave instructions in her will, that Lord Bjron's daughter was 






LIFE OF BYRON. xxxl 

not to be allowed to see her father's portrait for many yoars — we am 
brought to the conviction that there was more petty spite than 
dignified anger on both sides. 

But now a fresh and a concluding change oame over his dream 
of a life. Deeply imbued with a love of classic literature, 
admiring Greece as a country which he had traversed with the eye 
and feelings of a poet, he forgot, in his enthusiasm, that there was 
not a man in Greece able to write a line of that which had created 
his love, or one inspired by the smallest spark of that worship of 
liberty which had created an Epaminondas or led to the self- 
sacrifice of a Leonidas, and he plunged headlong into a visionary 
scheme for the rescuing of Greece from the hands of the Turk. 
His residence in Greece, and his poetry connected with it, had 
rendered him familiar to the Greeks ; their hopes magnified the 
extent of his wealth, and they hailed the promise of his coming 
among them as an omen of certain success. The Greek committee 
for promoting the insurrection, established in London, too, forgetting 
it was a very different thing to make a poetical Corsair attack upon 
the Pasha Seyd, and to restore liberty to a country that had been 
enslaved four hundred years, appointed him to a high command, 
which no circumstance of his antecedent life could have led them 
to think he was qualified for. A Washington would not have 
bestowed attention upon the splendid helmets with the Byron 
crest, or have wasted his time in pistol-practice ; he would have 
known that his own personal achievements could be of but little 
importance in a great national revolution. Beyond furnishing 
money, and making his sojourn with one or another of the various 
parties into which this imeute was divided a subject of constant 
quarrel and intrigue, I cannot see any effects produced by 
Byron's going into Greece. Of all the plots the world has pro- 
duced, and some of them have been extraordinary in their 
ill-construction, this was one of the worst digested, and most 
confusedly carried out. That bane of all man's great projects, 
self-interest, prevailed even more strongly than it usually does in 
such cases ; and, from his supposed inexhaustible wealth, Lord 
Byron was the bone all contended for. 

What may have been his ambitious anticipations in going to 
Greece no one can say, though most may divine ; but he soon found 
that his calculations were wrong ; the people he had to deal with 
were quite untractable, and he said in bitterness, " I was a fool to 
come here ;" they only wanted his money. As, however, he had 
embarked in the cause, he knew he was too conspicuous in the 
yyes of that world which it had been his object to defy, to retreat 
without disgrace, and he was about to command an attack upon 
Lervfuto, wh^n he waa overtaken by diseace and death. The 









xxxii LIFE OF BYRON. 

causes of this melancholy catastrophe were many. Bdisso JonghJ, 
to which he had been confined by stress of weather, is a dismal, 
unhealthy swamp ; his mind was incessantly harassed by finding 
himself involved in an affair out of which his talents could not 
extricate him ; his dissipated life had weakened his constitution ; on 
the 15th of February, he had a convulsion fit — and as he was little 
amenable to the advice of either friends or physicians, these 
altogether rendered a cold, which at another time might have 
been got over, formidable. His last illness was only ten days ic 
duration, and is a scene of confusion, discomfort, and privations 
melancholy to contemplate, as the departure of such a man. He 
evidently did not expect death, and there is little in the account ol 
his last moments for 4he religionist or the philosopher to theorize 
upon. Every one was taken by surprise ; every one was absorbed 
in his own interests. Fletcher, his servant, and Count Ganibt, 
the brother of the Countess Guiccioli, were the only persoos 
deeply affected by the loss. Lord Byron, as I have said, formed 
strong attachments for those beneath him and dependent upo* 
him, and was, consequently, beloved by his servants. 

In his Timon-like feeling for England, he had desired to b^ 
buried anywhere but in his own country ; but this was, wisely, nc/. 
acted upon. His remains were brought to England, and consigned 
to the family vault in the village of Hucknall, a spot so similar to 
Missolonghi, that the pilgrim to the tomb of genius who has see", 
both cannot help being struck with the dreary resemblance. 

In this sketch, which must be unsatisfactory from its shortness, 
I have ventured so many remarks upon Lord Byron's character 
aud writings, that, unless I had much more room at my command, 
I can add nothing else. As a man most highly gifted, and as 
writings of transcendent genius, Byron and his works must ever 
remain subjects of pride to his country ; whether, if the life of the 
man might have been purer, and, if it had, whether the works 
would have been more brilliant and beneficial, must be left to the 
speculations of the moralist ; the biographer has only to declare 
that there has boen no genius so universal since Shakspeare, and 
th%t no one man's writings belonging to modern times have been 
ware generally reexi. 



♦$* 



♦&■ 



HOURS OF IDLENESS: 

A SERIES OF POEMS, ORIGINAL AND TRANSLATED. 



Vlrglnlbufl puerisque canto.— Horace, lib. 111. Ode L 

M»'/t' ap jue /j.<t\' alvee, M'/ Te T < MiMi Homkr, Iliad, x. 349. 

He whistled as be went, for want of thought.— Dry dilm. 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE FREDERICK, EARL OP CARLISLE, 

KNIC1IT OP THB GABTBfi, ETC. ETC. 
THB SECOND BDITIOX OF THESB POEMS IS INSCBIBBD, 
BT HIS OBLIGBD WAKD AND 

AFFECTIONATE KINSMAJT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



PEEFACE. 

In submitting: to the public eye the following collection, I have not only 
to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but 
may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, 
when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed. 

These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man 
who has lately completed his nineteenth year. As they bear the internal 
evidence of a boyish mind, this is, perhaps, unnecessary information. 
Some few were written during the disadvantages of illness and depression 
of spirits; under the former influence, " Childish Recollections," in 
particular, were composed. This consideration, though it cannot excite 
the voice of praise, may at least arrest the arm of censure. A considera- 
ble portion of these poems has been privately printed, at the request and 
for the perusal of my friends. I am sensible that the partial and frequently 
injudicious admiration of a social circle is not the criterion by which 
poetical genius is to be estimated, yet " to do greatly," we must " dare 
greatly;" and I have hazarded my reputation and feelings in publishing 
this valume. " I have passed the Rubicon," and must stand or fall by 
the " cast of the die." In the latter event, I shall submit without a 
murmur ; for, though not without solicitude for the fate of these effusions, 
my expectations are by no means sanguine. It is probable that I may 
have dared much and done little ; for, in the words of Cowper, " it is one 
thing to write what may please our friends, who, because they are such, 
lire apt to be a little biassed in our favour, and another to write what may 
please everybody ; because they who have no connection, or even know- 
ledge of the author, will be sure to find fault if they can." To the truth 
of this, however, I do not wholly subscribe ; on the contrary, I feel con- 
vinced that these trifles will not be treated with injustice. Their merit, 
if they possess any, will be liberally allowed ; their numerous faults, on 
the other hand, cannot expect that favour which has been denied to 
others of matur«r years, decided character, and far greater ability. 

B 



^ 



"€^ 



m*- 



BYXON'S POEMS. 



? have not aimed at exclusive originality, still less have I studied any 
particular model for imitation: some translations are given, of which 
many are paraphrastic. In the original pieces, there may appear a casual 
coincidence with authors whose works I have been accustomed to read; 
but 1 have not been guilty of intentional plagiarism. To pioduce anything 
entirely new, in an age so fertile in rhyme, would be a Herculean task, 
as every subject has already been treated to its utmost extent. Poetry, 
however, is not my primary vocation; to divert the dull moments of 
indisposition, or the monotony of a vacant hour, urged me " to this sin :•* 
little can be expected from so unpromising a muse. My wreath, scanty 
as it must be, is all I shall derive from these productions ; and I shall 
never attempt to replace its fading leaves, or pluck a single additional 
sprig from groves where I am, at best, an intruder. Though accustomed, 
in my younger days, to rove a careless mountaineer on the Highlands of 
Scotland, I have not, of late years, had the benefit of such pure air, or so 
elevated a residence, as might enable me to enter the lists with genuine 
bards, who have enjoyed both these advantages. But they derive consi- 
derable fame, and a few not less profit, from their productions ; while I 
shall expiate my rashness as an interloper, certainly without the latter, 
and in all probability with a very slight share of the former. I leave to 
others " virum volitare per ora." I look to the few who will hear with 
patience *• dulce est desipere in loco." To the former worthies I resign, 
without repining, the hope of immortality, and content myself with the 
not very magnificent prospect of ranking amongst " the mob of gentle- 
men who write ;" — my readers must determine whether I dare say " with 
ease," or the honour of a posthumous page in *' The Catalogue of Royal 
and Noble Authors," — a work to which the Peerage is under infinite obli- 
gations ; inasmuch as many names of considerable length, sound, and 
antiquity, are thereby lescued from the obscurity which unluckily over- 
shadows several voluminous productions of their illustrious bearers. 

With slight hopes, and some fears, I publish this first and last attempt. 
To the dictates of young ambition may be ascribed many actions more 
criminal and equally absurd. To a few of my own age, the contents may 
afford ami sement : I trust they will, at least, be found harmless. It is 
highly improbable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, that I should 
ever obtrude myself a second time on the public ; nor, even in the very 
doubtful event of present indulgence, shall I be tempted to commit a 
future trespass of the same nature. The opinion of Dr. Johnson on the 
Poems of a noble relation of mine,* " That when a man of rank appeared 
In the character of an author, he deserved to have his merit handsomely 
all< wed," can have little weight with verbal, and still less with periodical 
tensors; but were it otherwise, I should be loath to avail myself of the 
privilege, and would rather incur the bitterest censure of anonymous 
criticism, than triumph in honours granted solely to a title. 

* Tkf EatI of Carlisle, whose works hare long rwv"V«i the nj<wl of public r,yj4cr*e, fc 
*%ick, 07 their intrinsic worth, the* w»r«. W ell entitled. 



<> 






HOURS OF IDLENESS. 



ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY,M 

COUSIN TO TAB AUTHOR, AND VERT DEAR TO HIM. 

Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom, 
Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove, 

Whilst I return, to view my Margaret's tomb, 
And scatter flowers on the dust I love. 

Within this narrow cell reclines her clay, 

That clay, where once auch animation beam'd ; 

The King of Terrors seized her as his prey ; 
Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem' d. 

Oh ! could that King of Terrors pity feel, 
Or Heaven reverse the dread decrees of fate ! 

Not here the mourner would his grief reveal, 
Not here the muse her virtues would relate. 

But wherefore weep ? Her matchless spirit soars 
Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day ; 

And weeping angels lead her to those bowers 
Where endless pleasures virtue's deeds repay. 

And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign, 
And, madly, godlike Providence accuse ? 

Ah ! no, far fly from me attempts so vain ; — 
I'll ne'er submission to my God refuse. 

Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear, 

Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous face ; 

Still they call forth my warm affection's tear, 
Still in my heart retain their wonted place. 



ioc& 



TO E- 



LET Folly smile, to view the names 
Of thee and me in friendship twined ; 

Yet Virtue will have greater claims 
To love, than rank with vice combined. 

• The author claims the Indulgence of the reader more for this piece, than, perhaps, 
any other in the oollection ; but as it was written at an earlier period than the rest (beinf 
composed at the age ol fourteen), and his first essay, he preferred submitting it to th# 
Indulgence of his friends in its present state, to making either addition or alteration. 

t The daughter of Admiral Parker, who died at the age of fifteen. 

B 2 



4 



* 



^ 

4 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And though unequal is thy fate, 

Since title deck'd my higher birth I 
Yet envy not this gaudy state ; 

Thine is the pride of modest worth. 

Our souls at least congenial meet, 

Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace ; 
Our intercourse is not less sweet, 

Since worth of rank supplies the place. 

Ncnerbro, ISA 



TO D- 



In thee, I fondly hoped to clasp 

A friend, whom death alone could sevor ; 

Till envy, with malignant grasp, 

Detach' d thee from my breast for ever. 

True, she has forced thee from my breast, 
Yet, in my heart thou keep'st thy seat ; 

There, there thine image still must rest, 
Until that heart shall cease to beat. 

And when the grave restores her dead. 

When life again to dust is given, 
On thy dear breast I'll lay my head — 

Without thee, where would be my heaven? 

FebiUbry, 139 



EPITAPH ON A FRIEND. 

Aa-rrjp wpii' /Lt€v JXa/iirer tvi faolaiv i<j>ot. — Laertit^. 

Oh, Friend ! for ever loved, for ever dear ! 
What fruitless tears have bathed thy honour'd bier ! 
What sighs re-echo'd to thy parting breath. 
Whilst thou wast struggling in the pangs of death I 
Could tears retard the tyrant in his course ; 
Could sighs avert his dart's relentless force, 
Could youth and virtue claim a short delay, 
Or beauty charm the spectre from his prey ; 
Thou still hadst lived to bless my aching sight, 
Thy comrade's honour and thy friend's delight* 
If yet thy gentle spirit hover nigh 
The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie, 
Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart, 
A grief too deep to trust the sculptor's art. 
No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep, 
But living statues there are seen to weep ; 
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb, 
A Auction's self deplores thy youthful doom. 
What though thy sire lament his failing Lbu, 
A father's sorrows cannot equal mine 1 






•©■ 



• 






-6* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 



Though none, like thee, his dying hour will choor, 
Yet other offspring soothe his anguish here : 
But, who with me shall hold thy former place ? 
Thine image, what new friendship can efface ? 
Ah I none ! — a father's tears will cease to flow, 
Time will assuage an infant brother's woe ; 
To all, save one, is consolation known, 
While solitary friendship sighs alone. 



A FRAGMENT. 

When, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice 
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice ; 
When, poised upon the gale, my form shall ride, 
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side ; 
Oh I may my shade behold no sculptured urns 
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns ! 
No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone " 
My epitaph shall be my name alone : 
If that with honour fail to crown my clay, 
Oh ! may no other fame my deeds repay ! 
That, only that, shall single out the spot ; 
By that remember' d, or with that forgot. 

UHL 



ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD ABBEY. 

"' Why dost thon build the hall, son of the winged days T Thou loo feast from thy towe 
to-day : yet a few years, and the blast of the desert comes, it howls in thy empty court. 

••OBsLuT. 

Through thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle ; 

Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay : 
In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle 

Have choked up the rose which late bloom' d in the way. 

Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly to battle 
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain, 

The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast rattle, 
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain. 

No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers, 
Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell' wreath ; 

Near Askalon's towers John of Horistan slumbers ; 
Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death. 

Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy ; 

For the safety of Edward and England they fell : 
My fathers ! the tears of your country redress ye ; 

How you fought, how you died, still her annals ean t«D« 



4* 



■6* 



♦& *M 

6 BYRON'S POEMS. 

On Marston, with Kupert, 'gainst traitors contending,* 
Four brothers enrich' d with their blood the bleak held ; 

For the rights of a monarch their country defending, 
Till death their attachment to royalty seal'd. 

Shades of heroes, farewell ! your descendant, departing 
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu ! 

Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting 
New courage, he'll think upon glory and you. 

Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation, 

'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret , 
Far distant he goes, with the same emulation, — 

The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget. 

That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish ; 

He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown : 
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish : 

When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own ! 

1808. 



J 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN " LETTERS TO AN ITALIAN NUN AND AN ENGLISH 
GENTLEMAN : BY J. J. ROUSSEAU : FOUNDED ON FACTS." 

" Away, »w»y, your flattering art* 
May now betray some simple hearts; 
And you will smile at their believing, 
And they shall weep at your deceiving." 

ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING, ADDRESSED TO MTSS . 

Dear simple girl, those nattering arts, 

From which tnou'dst guard frail female hearts, 

Exist but in imagination, — 

Mere phantoms oi thine own creation ; 

For he who views that witching grace, 

That perfect form, that lovely face, 

With eyes admiring, oh ! believe me, 

He never wishes to deceive thee : 

Once in thy polish'd mirror glance, 

Thou'lt there descry that elegance 

Which from our sex demands such praises, 

But envy in the other raises : 

Then he who tells thee of thy beauty, 

Believe me, only does his duty : 

Ah ! fly not from the candid youth ; 

It is not flattery, — 'tis truth. 

July, 1804. 

• The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defatted. Rupert, 
ton «1 the Elector Palatine, and nephew to Charles L He afterwards cominandod the flee> 
In the rei«n of Charles li. 



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*4* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 



ADRIAN'S ADDRESS TO HIS SOUL WKE3 DYINQ, 

Ah ! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite, 
Friend and associate of this clay ! 

To what unknown region borne, 
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight I 
No more with wonted humour gay, 

But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn 



TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS. 

AD LESBIAM. 

Equal to Jove that youth must be — 

Greater than Jove he seems to me — 

Who, free from Jealousy's alarms, 

Securely views thy matchless charms, 

That cheek, which ever dimpling glows. 

That mouth, from whence such music floTa, 

To him, alike are always known, 

Reserved for him, and him aloi,e. 

Ah ! Lesbia ! though 'tis death to me, 

I cannot choose but look on thee ; 

But, at the sight, my senses fly ; 

I needs must gaze, but gazing, die ; 

Whilst trembling with a thousand fears, 

Parch'd to the throat my tongue adheren, 

My pulse beats quick, my breath heavee aborts 

My limbs deny their slight support, 

Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread, 

With deadly languor droops my head, 

My ears with tingling echoes ring, 

And life itself is on the wing ; 

My eyes refuse the cheering light, 

Their orbs are veil'd in starless night : 

Such pangs my nature sinks beneath, 

And feels a temporary death. 

* Animula I vagula, blandulr^ 
Hospea comesque corporis, 
Quae nunc abibis in loca— 
Pallid ula, rigida, nndula. 
Hec, at golea, dabk jcoco } 



h(J)+ 



BYRON'S POEMS 

TRANSLATION OF THE EPITAPH ON VIRGIL AND 
TIBULLUS. 

BY DOMITIUS MARSUS. 

Hb who sublime in epic numbers roll'd, 
And he who struck the softer lyre of love^ 

By Death's unequal hand alike con troll' d,* 
Fit comrades in Elysian regions move i 



IMITATION OF TIBULLUS. 

" Sulplcia ad Certnthum." — Lib. 4. 

Cruel Cerinthus ! does the fell disease 

Which racks my breast your fickle bosom ploase \ 

Alas ! I wish'd but to o'ercome the pain, 

That I might live for love and you again : 

But now I scarcely shall bewail my fate ; 

By death alone I can avoid your hate. 



TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS. 

Ya Cupids, droop each little head, 
Nor let your wings with joy be spread, 
My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead, 

Whom dearer than her eyes she loved : 
For he was gentle, and so true, 
Obedient to her call he flew ; 
No fear, no wild alarm he knew, 

But lightly o'er her bosom moved : 

And softly fluttoring here and there, 
He never sought to cleave the air, 
But chin-up' d oft, and, free from care. 

Tuned to her ear his grateful strain. 
Now having pass'd the glcomy bourne 
From whence he never can return, 
His death and Lesbia's grief I mourn, 

Who sighs, alas ! but sighs in vain. 

Oh ! curst be thou, devouring grare I 
Whose jaws eternal victims crave, 
Fx*om whom no earthly power can savo ; 

For thou hast ta'en the bird away : 
From thee, my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow, 
Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow ; 
Thou art the cause of all her woe, 

Receptacle of life's decay. 

• ffho bind of Death Is said to i* unju*t or unequal, at Virgil tu ooDddoTabiy olds 
than TiocHuo ot uis decease. 




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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 
TMTTATED FROM CATULLUS. 

TO ELLEN. 

Oh ! might I kiss those eyes of fire, 
A million scarce would quench desire : 
Still would I steep my lips in bliss, 
And dwell an age on every kiss : 
Nor then my soul should sated be ; 
Still would I kiss and cling to thee : 
Nought should my kiss from thine dissarer J 
Still would we kiss, and kiss for ever ; 
E'en though the numbers did exceed 
The yellow harvest's countless seed. 
To part would be a vain endeavour : 
Could I desist ? — ah ! never — never ! 



TRANSLATION FROM HORACE. 

The man of firm and noble soul 
No factious clamours can control ; 
No threat'ning tyrant's darkling brow 

Can swerve him from his just intent : 
Gales the warring waves which plough, 

By Auster on the billows spent, 
To curb the Adriatic main, 
Would awe his fix'd determined mind in vain. 

Ay, and the red right arm of Jove, 
Hurtling his lightnings from above, 
With all his terrors there unfurl'd, 

He would, unmoved, rnawed behold. 
The flames of an expiring world, 
Again in crashing chaos roll'd, 
In vast promiscuous ruin hurl'd, 
Might light his glorious funeral pile : 
Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth he'd smile* 



FROM AN VCREON. 

I WISH to tune my quivering lyre 
To deeds of fame and notes of fire ; 
To echo, from its rising swell, 
How heroes fought and nations fell, 
When Atreus' sons advanced to war, 
Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar ; 
But still, to martial strains unknown, 
My lyre recurs to love alone : 
Fired with the hope of future fame, 
I seek some nobler hero's nam* : 






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r 



10 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The dying chords are strung anew, 
To war, to war, my harp is due : 
With glowing strings, the epic strain 
To Jove's great son I raise again ; 
Alcides and his glorious deeds, 
Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds* 
All, all in vain ; my wayward lyre 
Wakes silver notes of soft desire. 
Adieu, ye chiefs renown'd in arms I 
Adieu, the clang of war's alarms ! 
To other deeds my soul is strung, 
And sweeter notes shall now be sung ; 
My harp shall all its powers reveal, 
To tell the tale my heart must feel : 
Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim, 
In songs of bliss and sighs of flame. 



FROM ANACREON. 

'TwaS now the hour when Night had drftefl 

Her car half round yon sable heaven ; 

Bootes, only, seem'd to roll 

His arctic charge around the pole ; 

While mortals, lost in gentle sleep, 

Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep : 

At this lone hour, the Paphian boy, 

Descending from the realms of joy, 

Quick to my gate directs his course, 

And knocks with all his little force. 

My visions fled, alarm'd I rose, — 

" What stranger breaks my blest repoeo I*' 

" Alas ! " replies the wily child, 

In faltering accents sweetly mild, 

" A hapless infant here I roam, 

Far from my dear maternal home. 

Oh ! shield me from the wintry blast I 

The nightly storm is pouring fast. 

No prowling robber lingers here. 

A wandering baby w*o can fear ?" 

I heard his seeming artless tale, 

] heard his sighs upon the gale : 

My breast was never pity's foe, 

But felt for all the baby's woe. 

I drew the bar, and by the light, 

Young Love, the infant, met my sight { 

H is bow across his shoulders flung, 

And thence his fatal quiver hung 

(Ah ! little did I think the dart 

Would rankle soon within my heart), 

With care I tend my weary guest, 

His little fingers chill my breast i 



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)h ►< 



HOURS OF IDLENESS II 

His glossy curls, his azure wing, 

Which droop with nightly showers, I wriug ; 

His shivering limbs the embers warm ; 

And now reviving from the storm, 

Scarce had he felt his wonted glow, 

Than swift he seized his slender bow :— 

" I fain would know, my gentle host," 

He cried, " if this its strength has lust : 

I fear, relax'd with midnight dews, 

The strings their former aid refuse." 

With poison tipt, his arrow flies, 

Deep in my tortured heart it lies ; 

Then loud the joyous urchin laugh'd :— 

" My bow can still impel the shaft : 

'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it ; 

Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it ? ' 



FBOM THE PROMETHEUS VINCTUS OF .ESCHYLUS. 

Great Jove, to whose almighty throno 
Both gods and mortals homage pay, 

Ne'er may my soul thy power disown, 
Thy dread behests ne er disobey. 

Oft shall the sacred victim fall 

In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall ; 

My voice shall raise no impious strain, 
'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main. 

How different now thy joyless fate, 

Since first Hesione thy bride, 
When placed aloft in godlike state, 

Tne blushing beauty by thy side, 
Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smiled, 
And mirthful strains the hours beguiled ; 
The Nymphs and Tritons danced around, 
Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove relentless frown'd. 

Harrow, Dec 1, 1&& 



TO EMMA. 

Since now the hour is come at last, 

When you must quit your anxious lover ; 

Since now our dream of bliss is past, 
One pang, my girl, and all is over. 

Alas ! that pang will be severe, 

Which bids us part to meet no more ; 

Which tears me far from one so dear, — 
Departing for a distant shore. 

Well ! we have pass'd some happy hours, 
And joy will mingle with our tears ; 

When thinking on these anient towers, 
The shelter of our infant •ears ; 



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4 



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*M 



12 BYKOV'S POEMS. 

Where from this Gothic casement's beicht. 
We view'd the lake, the park, the dell ; 

And still, though tears obstruct our sight, 
We lingering look a last farewell. 

O'er fields through which we used to run. 
And spend the hours in childish play ; 

O'er shades where, when our race was don£, 
Reposing on my breast you lay ; 

Whilst I, admiring, too remiss, 
Forgot to scare the hovering flioe, 

Yet envied every fly the kiss 

It dared to give your slumbering eyce : 

See still the little painted bark, 

In which I row'd you o'er the lake ; 

See there, high waving o'er the park, 
The elm I clamber'd for your sake. 

These times are past — our joys are gon6, 
You leave me, leave this happy vale ; 

These scenes I must retrace alone : 
Without thee, what will they avail ? 

Who can conceive, who has not proved, 
The anguish of a last embrace ? 

When, torn from all you fondly loved, 
You bid a long adieu to peace. 

rhis is the deepest of our wo&s, 
For this these tears our checks bodexr J 

["his is of love the final close, 
Oh, God ! the fondest, last adieu 1 



4 



TO It. S. G. 

Whene'er I view those lips of thine. 
Their hue invites my fervent kiss ; 

Yet I forego that bliss divine, 
Alas ! it were unhallow'd bliss. 

Whene'er I dream of that pure breast, 
How could I dwell upon its snows ! 

Yet is the daring wish repress'd ; 
For that — would banish its repose. 

A glance from thy soul-searching eye 
Can raise with hope, depress with fear ; 

Yet I conceal my love, — and why \ 
I would not force a painful tear. 

I ne'er have told my love, yet thou 
Hast seen my ardent flame too well ; 

And shall I plead my passion now, 
To make thy bosom's heaven a hell I 






•*• 



HOURS OF IDLENESS, 13 

No ! for thou novor canst bo mine, 

United by the priest's decree : 
By any ties b''.c those divine, 

Mine, my beloved, thou ne'er shalt be. 

Then let the secret fire consume, 

Let it consume, thou shalt not know : 
With joy I court a certain doom, 

Rather than spread its guilty glow. 

I will not ease my tortured heart, 

By driving dove-eyed peace from thine J 

Rather than such a sting impart, 

Each thought presumptuous I resign. 

Yes ! yield those lips for which I'd brave 

More than I here shall dare to tell ; 
Thy innocence and mine to save, — 

I bid thee now a last farewell. 

Yes ! yield that breast, to seek despair, 

And hope no more thy soft embrace ; 
Which to obtain my soul would dare 

All, all reproach — but thy disgrace 

At least from guilt shalt thou be free, 

No matron shall thy shame reprovf 
Though cureless pangs may prey on me, 

No martyr shalt thou be to love. 



TO CAROLINE. 

Think'st thou I saw thy beauteous eyea, 
Suffused in tears, implore to stay ; 

And heard unmoved thy plenteous sighs, 
Which said far more than words can say f 

Though keen the grief thy tears express'd, 
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown | 

Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast 
Throbb'd with deep sorrow as thine own. 

But when our cheeks with anguish glow'd, 
When thy sweet lips were join'd to mine, 

The tears that from my eyelids flow'd 
Were lost in those which fell from thine. 

Thou couldst not feel my burning cheek, 
Thy gushing tears had quench'd its flar 

And a*? thy tongue essay'd to speak, 
In sighs alone it breathed my name. 

And yet, my girl, we weep in vain, 
In vain our fate in sighs deplore ; 

Remembrance only can remain, — 
But that will make us weep the more* 






L4, BYXON'S POEMS. 

Again, thou best beloved, adieu 5 
A.h ! if thou canst, o'ercome regret ; 

Nor let thy mind past joys review ;— 
Our only hope is to forget ! 



•6* 



TO CAROLINE. 

^hen I hear you express an affection so warm, 
Ne'er think, my beloved, that I do not believe ; 

For your lip would the soul of suspicion disarm, 
And your eye beams a ray which can never deceive. 

Yet, still, this fond bosom regrets, while adoring, 
That love, like the leaf, must tall into the sear ; 

That age will come on, when remombrauce, deploring, 
Contemplates the scenes of her youth with a tear. 

That time must arrive, when, no longer retaining 

Their auburn, those locks must wave thin to the breeze, 

When a few silver hairs of those tresses remaining, 
Prove nature a prey to decay and disease. 

Tis this, my beloved, which spreads gloom o'er my feature^ 
Though I ne'er shall presume to arraign the decree 

Which God has proclaim'd as the fate of His creatures, 
In the death which one day will deprive you of me. 

Mistake not, sweet sceptic, the cause of emotion, 
No doubt can the mind of your lover invade ; 

He worships each look with such faithful devotion, 
A smile can enchant, or a tear can dissuade. 

But as death, my beloved, soon or late shall o'ertake us, 
And our breasts, which alive with such sympathy glow, 

Will sleep in the grave till the blast shall awake us, 
When calling the dead, in earth's bosom laid low. 

Oh ! then let us drain, while we may, draughts of pleasure, 
Which from passion like ours may unceasingly flow : 

Let us pass round the cup of love's bliss in full measure, 
And quaff the contents as our nectar below. 

iaoc 



TO CAROLINE. 

Oh ! when shall the grave hide for ever my sorrows ? 

Oh ! when shall my soul wing her flight from this claj ? 
The present is hell, and the coming to-niorrow 

But brings, with new torture, the curse of to-day. 

From my eye flows no tear, from my lips flow no curses, 
I blast not the fiends who have huiTd me from blise : 

For poor is the soul which bewailing rehearse 
Its querulous jjrief, when in anguish like this. 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS* 15 

Was my eye, 'stead of tears, with red fury-flakes bright'ning. 

Would my lips breathe a flame which DO Stream could assuago, 
On our foes should my glance launch in vengoanco its lightning 

With transport my tongue give a loose to its rage. 

But now tears and curses, alike unavailing, 
Would add to the souls of our tyrants delight ; 

Could they view us our sad separation bewailing, 
Their merciless hearts would rejoice at the sight. 

Yet still, though we bend with a feign'd resignation, 
Life beams not for us with one ray that can cheer, 

L<>ve and hope upon earth bring no more consolation ! 
In the grave is our hope, for in life is our fear. 

Oh ! when, my adored, in the tomb will they place mo, 
Since, in life, love and friendship for ever are fled I 

If again in the mansion of death I embrace thee, 
Perhaps they will leave unmolcsteJ the dead. 

1901 



STANZAS TO A LADY. 

WITH THE POEMS OF CAMOENS. 

This votive pledge of fond esteem, 

Perhaps, dear girl ! for me thou'lt prize ; 

It sings of Love's enchanting dream, 
A theme we never can despise. 

Who blames it but the envious fool, 
The old and disappointed maid ; 

Or pupil of the prudish school, 
In single sorrow doom'd to fade? 

Then read, dear girl ! with feeling read, 
For thou wilt ne'er be one of those ; 

To thee in vain I shall not plead 
In pity for the poet's woes. 

He was in sooth a genuine bard ; 

His was no taint, fictitious flame : 
Like his, may love be thy reward, 

But not thy hapless fate the same. 



THE FIRST KISS OF LOVE. 

'A Bap/3i-ror hh xoo&ait 
*'Ep-i>Ta novvov nx e '-— AJfACRBtw. 

Aw AT with your fictions of flimsy romance ; 

Tlwee tissues of falsehood which folly has wove ! 
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glanoe, 

Or the rapture which dwolls on the first kiss of love* 



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♦- 

16 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with phantasy glow, 
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove ; 

From what blest inspiration your sonnets would flov?, 
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love ! 

If Apollo should e'er his assistance refuse, 

Or the Nine be disposed from your service to rove. 

Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the muse, 
And try the effect of the first kiss of love ! 

X nate you, ye cold compositions of art ! 

Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove, 
I court the effusions that spring from the heart 

Which throbs with delight to the first kiss of love ! 

Y»ur shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes, 
Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can move. 

Arcadia displays but a region of dreams : 
What are visions like these to the first kiss of love ? 

Oh ! cease to affirm that man, since his birth, 

From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove : 

Some portion of paradise still is on earth, 
And Eden revives in the first kiss of love. 

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past, 
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove, 

The dearest remembrance will still be the last, 
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love 



-&♦ 



ON A CHANGE OF MASTERS AT A GREAT PUBLIC 
SCHOOL. 

Where are those honours, Ida ! once yo\ir own, 
When Probus fill'd your magisterial throne \ 
As ancient Rome, fast falling to disglt&Sfc 
Hail'd a barbarian in her Caesar's place ; 
So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate, 
And seat Pomposus where your Probus sate. 
Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soul, 
Pomposus holds you in his harsh control ; 
Pomposus, by no social virtue sway'd, 
With florid jargon, and with vain parade ; 
With noisy nonsense, and new-fangled rules, 
Such as were ne'er before enforced in school^ 
Mistaking pedantry for learning's laws. 
He governs, sanction'd but by self-appiause ; 
With him the same dire fate attending Rome, 
Ill-fated Ida ! soon must stamp your doom : 
Like her o'erthrown, for ever lost to fame, 
No trace of science left you, but the name. 

ffafy,UK& 



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HOCKS OF ID>LEX ESS. 17 



TO THE DUKE OF DORSET.* 

Dorset ! whoso early steps with mine have stray'd, 
Exploring every path of Ida's glade ; 
Whom s* ill affection taught me to defend, 
And madv me less a tyrant than a friend, 
Though the harsh custom of our youthful bc\nd 
Bade thee obey, and gave vie to command ; + 
Thee, on whose head a few short years will shov^er 
The gift of riches and the pride of power ; 
E'en now a name illustrious is thine own, 
Ronown'd in rank, not far beneath the throne. 
Yet, Dorset, let not this seduce thy soul 
To shun fair science, or evade control, 
Though passive tutors, fearful to dispraise X 
The titled child, whose future breath may raise, 
View ducal errors with indulgent eyes, 
And wink at faults they tremble to chastise. 

When youthful parasites, who bend the knee 
To wealth, their golden idol, not to thee, 
And even in simple boyhood's opening dawn 
Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawn, — 
When these declare, " that pomp alone should r/ait 
On one by birth predestined to be great ; 
That books were only meant for drudging fools, 
That gallant spirits scorn the oommon rules ;" 
Believe them not ; — they point the path to shame, 
And seek to blast the honours of thy name. 
Turn to the few in Ida's early throng, 
Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong ; 
Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth, 
None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth, 
Ask thine own heart ; 'twill bid thee, boy, forbear ; 
For well I know that virtue lingers there. 

Yes ! I have mark'd thee many a passing day, 
But now new scenes invite me far away ; 
Yes ! I have mark'd within that gc-nerous mind 
A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind. 
Ah ! though m}'self, by nature haughty, wild, 
Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite child ; 
Though every error stamps me for her own, 
And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone ; 
Though my proud heart no precept now can tame, 
I lovo the virtues which I cannot claim. 

• In looking over my papers to select a few additional poems for this second edition, I 
fouud the above lines, which I had totally forgotten, composed i'l the summer of 1S05, a 
ttiort time previous to my departure from Harrow. They wer<? addressed to a young 
schoolfellow of high rank, who had been my frequent companion iu some rambles through 
the neighbouring country : however, he never saw the lines, and most probably never 
will. As, on a reperusal, I found them not worse than some other pieces in the collee- 
tion, I have now published them, for the first time, after a slight revision. 

t At every public school the junior boys are completely subservient to the Tipper forme 
till they attain a seat in the higher classes. From this state of probation, very properly, 
110 rank . exempt ; but after a certain period, they command in turn thoee who succeed, 

t Alli-vw me to disclaim any personal allusions, oven the most distant : I uit*r*ly uitjv 
tion geaer*lly vhat i* f-vi Kflteu the weakness of preceptors. 



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1 8 B YR ON'S POEMX 

Tis not enough, with other sons of power, 
To gleam the lambent meteor of an iiour ; 
To swell some peerage page in feeble pride, 
With long-drawn names that grace no page beside 
Then share with titled crowds the common lot — 
In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot ; 
While nought divides thee from the vulgar deao, 
Except the dull eold stone that hides thy head, 
The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the herald's roll, 
That well-emblazon'd but neglected scroll, 
Where lords, unhonour'd, in the tomb may find 
One spot, to leave a worthless name behind. 
T'here sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults 
That veil their dust, their follies, and their fauita, 
A race, with old armorial lists o'erspread, 
In records destined never to be read. 
Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes, 
Exalted more among the good and wise, 
A glorious and a long career pursue, 
As first in rank, the first in talent too : 
Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun ; 
Not Fortune's minion, but her noblest son. 

Turn to the annals of a former day ; 
Bright are the deeds thino earlier sires display. 
One, though a courtier, lived a man of worth, 
And call'd, — proud boast ! the British drama forth. 
Another view, not less renown'd for wit ; 
Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit; 
Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine ; 
In even.- splendid part ordain'd to shine ; 
Far, far distinguish'd from the glittering throng, 
The prido of princes, and the boast of song. 
Such were thy fathers ; thus preserve their name ; 
Not heir to titles only, but to fame. 
The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close 
To me, this little scene of joys and woes ; 
Each knell of Time now warns me to resign 
Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship, all were cLu. 
Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue, 
And gild their pinions as the moments flew ; 
Peace, that reflection never frown'd away, 
By dreams of ill to cloud some future day ; 
Friendship, whose truth let childhood only tell ; 
Alas ! they love not long, who love so well. 
To these adieu ! nor let me linger o'er 
Scenes hail'd, as exiles ha. ; l their native shore, 
Receding slowly through the dark-blue deep, 
Beheld by eves that mourn, yet cannot weep. 

Doi'set, farewell ! I wjll not ask one part 
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart ; 
The coming morrow from thy youthful min^ 
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind. 
And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year, 
Bince chauce has <hrowu us if the self-same sphere, 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. »9 



Since the same senate, nay, the same debate, 
May one day claim our suffrage lor the statu, 
We hence may meet, and pass each othor by, 
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye. 
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe, 
A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe, 
With thee no more again 1 hope to trace 
The recollection of our early race ; 
No more, as once, in social hours rejoice, 
Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice ; 
Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught 
To veil those feelings which perchance rfc ought — 
If these — but let me cease the lengthen'd strain — 
Oh ! if these wishes are not breathed in vain, 
The guardian seraph who directs thy fate 
Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great. 

1801 



FRAGMENT, 

V^aiTTEN SHORTLY AFTER THE MARRIAGE OF MISS CHA WORTH, 

Hills of Annesley ! bleak and barren, 
Where my thoughtless childhood stray'd, 

How the northern tempests, warring, 
Howl above thy tufted shade ! 

Now no more, the hours beguiling, 

Former favourite haunts I see ; 
Now no more my Mary smiling 

Makes ye seem a heaven to me. 

looa. 



GRANTA. A Medley. 

Apfi/pecuc \6fX ai<Tl M a X 0l, i Ka * wa^Ta K.par^et<t» 

Oh ! could Le Sage's demon's gift* 

Be realized at my desire, 
This night my trembling form he'd lift 

To place it on St. Mary's spire. 

Then would, unroof d, old Granta's halls 

Pedantic inmates full display ; 
Fellows who dream on lawn or stalls, 

The price of venal votes to pay. 

Then would I view each rival wight, 

Petty and Palmerston survey ; 
Who canvass there with all their might, 

Against the next elective day. 

* The ** Diahle Boiteux " of Le Sage, where Asmodeus, the -*«Kioa places Doe S**fitf 
T\ as eUrateii siVrotioa, and unroofs the houses for in ape rHon 

2 



i> 



A- 



«A<— *&* 



20 B YRON 'S POEMS. 



Lo ! candidates and voters lie 

All lull'd in sleep, a goodly number • 
A race renown'd for piety, 

Whose conscience won't disturb their shimber. 

Lord II , indeed, may not demur ; 

Fellows are sage reflecting men : 
They know preferment can occur 

But very seldom, — now and then. 

They know the Chancellor has got 

Some pretty livings in disposal : 
Each hopes that one may be his lot, 

And therefore smiles on his proposal. 

Now from the soporific scene 

I'll turn mine eye, as night grows later, 
To view, unheeded and unseen, 

The studious sons of Alma Mater. 

There, in apartments small and damp, 

The candidate for college prizes 
Sits poring by the midnight lamp ; 

Goes late to bed, yet early rises. 

He surely well deserves to gnin them, 

With all the honours of his collegb. 
Who, striving hardly to obtain them, 

Thus seeks unprofitable knowledge : 

Who sacrifices hours of rest 

To scan precisely metres Attio ; 
Or agitates his anxious breast 

In solving problems mathematio. 

Who reads false quantities in Seale,* 

Or puzzles o'er the deep trianele ; 
Deprived of many a wholesome meal ; 

In barbarous Latin doom'd to wrangle :+ 

Renouncing every pleasing page 

From authors of historic use ; 
Preferring to the letter' d sage, 

The square of the hypothenuse.+ 

Still, harmless are these occupations, 
That hurt none but the hapless student, 

Compared with other recreations, 
Which bring together the imprudent ; 

tnwfs publication on Ureek metres displays considerable talent and Ingenuity, \tO\_ 
*t nii^ht be expected in so difficult a work, is not remarkable for accuracy. 
\ The Latin of the schools is of the canin<> spccus, and not very inteliU***" 
J The discovery of Pythagoras, that t>ie square of the bypothenure 1» equal to the 
tooarw of Ui« oti'er two suit* of a right-angled triaugle. 



: ';> 



4 



—+4h 



HOURS 01' IDLENESS. 21 

Whose daring revels shock the sight. 

When vice and infamy combine, 
When drunkenness and dice invite, 

As every sense is stoep'd in wine- 
Not so the methodistic crew, 

Who plans of reformation lay : 
In humble attitude they sue, 

And for the sins of others pray : 

Forgetting that their pride of spirift> 

Their exultation in their trial, 
Detracts most largely from the merifc 

Of all their boasted self-denial. 

'Tis morn : — from these I turn my sight. 

What scene is this which meets the eye? 
A numerous crowd, array'd in white, 

Across the green in numbers fry. 

Loud rings in air the chapel bell : 
'Tis hush'd — what sounds are these I hoar? 

The organ's soft celestial swell 
Rolls deeply on the list'ning ear. 

To this is join'd the sacred song, 

The royal minstrel's hallow' d strain ; 
Though he who hears the music long 

Will never wish to hear again. 

Our choir would scarcely be excused, 

Even as a band of raw beginners ; 
All mercy now must be refused 

To such a set of croaking sinners. 

If David, when his toils were ended, 

Had heard these blockheads sing before him, 

To hs his psalms had ne'er descended, — 
In furious mood he would have tore 'em. 

The luckless Israelites when taken 

By some inhuman tyrant's order, 
Were ask'd to sing, by joy forsaken, 

On Babylonian river' 3 border. 

Oh ! had they sung in notes like these, 

Inspired by stratagem or fear, 
They might have set their hearts at ease, 

The devil a soul had stay'd to hear. 

But if I scribble longer now. 

The deuce a soul will stay to read 5 
My pen is blunt, my ink is low ; 

'Tis almost time to stop, indeed. 



*e* 



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22 BY ROM'S POEMS. 



Therefore, farewell, old Granta's spires : 

No more, like Cleofas, I fly ; 
No more thy theme my muse inspired : 

The reader '« tired, and so am I. 

180* 



ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND SCHOOL 
OF HARROW-ON-THE-HILL. 

** O 1 mJM praeteritos referat «i Jupiter annos." — Vibgil. 

Ye scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection 
Embitters the present, compared with the past ; 

Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection, 
And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last ; 

Where fancy yet joys to trace the resemblance 
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied ; 

How welcome to me your ne'er-fading remembrance, 
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied ! 

Again I revisit the hills where we sported, 

The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought ; 
The school, where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted, 

To pore o'er the precepts by pedagogues taught. 

Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd, 

As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay ; 
Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd. 

To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray. 

I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded, 
Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown ; 

While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded, 
I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone.* 

Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation, 
By my daughters, of kingdom and reason deprived ; 

Till, fired by loud plaudits and self-adulation, 
I regarded myself as a Garrick revived. 

Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you ! 

Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast ; 
Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you : 

Your pleasures may still be in fancy possess'd. 

To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me, 
While fate shall the shades of the future unroll ! 

Since darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me, 
More dear is the beam of the past to my soul. 

But if, through the course of the years which await me, 
Some new scene of pleasure should open to view, 

I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me 
" Oh ! such were the days which my infancy knew ! " 

1KB. 
* A. cesiteaiooraxv of Garrick, fluamu for his performance cf Zajag% 



^> 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 



23 



TO M 



Oh ! did those eyes, Instead of firo, 
With bright but mild affection shiao, 

Though they might kindle less desire, 
Love more than mortal would be tbiu* 

^or thou art form'd so heavenly fair, 
Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam, 

We must admire, but still despair; 
That fatal glance forbids esteem. 

When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth. 
So much perfection in thee shone, 

She fear'd that, too divine for earth, 

The skies might claim thee for their own ; 

Therefore, to guard her dearest work, 
Lest angels might dispute the prize, 

She bade a secret lightning lurk 
Within those once celestial eyes. 

These might the boldest sylph appal. 
When gleaming with meridian blazo ; 

Thy beauty must enrapture all ; 

But who can dare thine ardent gaze ? 

'Tis said that Berenice's hair 

In stars adorns the vault of heaven ; 

But they would ne'er permit thee there,— 
Thou wouldst so far outshine the seven. 

For did those eyes as planets roll, 

Thy sister-lights would scarce appear : 

E'en suns, which systems now control, 
Would twinkle dimly through their sphere.* 



138& 



TO WOMAN. 

Woman ! experience might have told mo. 

That all must love thee who behold thee : 

Surely experience might have taught 

Thy firmest promises are nought : 

But, placed in all thy charms before me, 

All I forget, but to adore thee. 

O memory ! thou choicest blessing, 

When join'd with hope, when still possessing \ 

But how much cursed by every lover 

When hope is fled, and passion s s over. 

• •• Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven. 
Having some business, do entreat her eyes 
Xo twinkle in their spheres till they return."— Sttursnsifflk 



■$♦ 



+£}* ^ 



24 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Woman, that fair and foud deceiver, 

How prompt are striplings to believe her 1 

How throbs the pulse when first we vieTT 

The eye that rolls in glossy blue, 

Or sparkles black, or mildly throws 

A beam from under hazel brows ! 

How quick we credit every oath, 

And hear her plight the willing troth : 

Fondly we hope 'twill last for aye, — 

When lo ! she changes in a day. 

This record will for ever stand, 

" Woman ! thy vows are traced in sand." • 



<& 



TO M. S. G. 

Wren I dream that you love me, you'll surely forgive 

Extend not your anger to sleep ; 
For in visions alone your affection can live, — 

I rise, and it leaves me to weep. 

Then, Morpheus ! envelop my faculties fast, 

Shed o'er me your languor benign ; 
Should the dream of to-night but resemble the last, 

What rapture celestial i3 mine ! 

They tell us that slumber, the sister of death, 

Mortality's emblem is given : 
To fate how I long to resign my frail breath, 

If this be a foretaste of heaven ! 

Ah ! frown not, sweet lady, unbend you/ soft brow, 

Nor deem me too happy in this ; 
If I sin in my dream, I atone for it now, 

Thus doom'd but to gaze upon bliss. 

Though in visions, sweet lady, perhaps you may smile. 

Oh ! think not my penance deficient ! 
When dreams of your presence my slumbers beguile, 

To awake will be torture sufficient. 



TO MARY, 

ON RECEIVING HER PICTURE. 

THIS faint resemblance of thy charms, 
Though strong as mortal art could give, 

My constant heart of fear disarms, 
Revives my hopes, and bids me live. 

• This line is almost * Literal translation from a Spanish proverb. 



4. 






HOURS OF IDLENESS. 25 

Here I can tr^ce the locks of gold 

Which rouiul thy snowy forehead wave, 
The cheeks which sprung from beauty's mould, 

The lips which made me beauty's slave. 

Here I can trace — ah, no ! that eye, 

Whose azure floats in liquid fire. 
Must all the painter's art defy, 

And bid him from the task retire. 

Here I behold its beauteous hue ; 

But where's the beam so sweetly straying, 
Which gave a lustre to its blue, 

Like Luna o'er the ocean playing ? 

Sweet copy ! far more dear to me, 

Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, 
Than all the living forms could be, 

Save her who placed thee next my heart. 

She placed it, sad, with needless fear, 

Lest time might shake my wavering soul, 
Unconscious that her image there 

Held every sense in fast control. 

Through hours, through years, through time, 'twill chew 

My hope, in gloomy moments raise ; 
In life's last conflict 'twill appear, 

And meet my fond expiring gaze. 



TO LESBIA. 

Lesbia t since far from you I've ranged, 
Our souls with fond affection glow not ; 

You say 'tis I, not you, have changed ; 
I'd tell you why, — but yet I know not. 

Your polish'd brow no cares have cross'd ; 

And, Lesbia ! we are not much older 
Since, trembling, first my heart I lost, 

Or told my love, with hope grown bolder. 

Sixteen was then our utmost age, 

Two years have lingering past away, love ! 
And now new thoughts our minds engage, 

At least I feel disposed to stray, love ! 

Tis I that am alone to blame, 

I, that am guilty of love's treason ; 

Since your sweet breast is still the same, 
Canrice must be my only reason. 

1 do not, love ! suspect your truth, 

With jealous doubt my bosom heaves net,; 

W arm was the passion of my youth, 
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not. 



■Ht 



+&+ 



4 



26 BYRON'S POEMS. 

No, no, my flame was not pretended ; 

For, oh ! I loved you most sincerely ; 
And — though our dream at last is endod— 

My bosom still esteems you dearly. 

No more we meet in yonder bowers ; 

Absence has made me prone to roving - ; 
But older, firmer hearts than ours 

Have found monotony in loving. 

Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd, 
New beauties still are daily bright'ning, 

Your eye lor conquest beams prepared, 
The forge of love's resistless lightning. 

Arm'd thus to make their bosoms bleed, 
Many will throng to sigh like me, love ! 

More constant they may prove, indeed ; 
Fonder, alas ! they ne'er can be, love ! 



LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY, 

WHO HAD BEEN ALARMED BY A BULLET FIRED BY THS AUTHO* 
WHILE DISCHARGING HIS PISTOLS LN A GARDEN. 

Doubtless, sweet girl ! the hissing lead, 

Wafting destruction o'er thy charms, 
And hurtling o'er thy lovely head,* 

Has fill'd that breast with fond alarms. 

Surely some envious demon's force, 

Vex'd to behold such beauty here, 
Impell'd the bullet's viewless course, 

Diverted from its first career. 

Yes ! in that nearly fatal houi 

The ball obey'd some hell-born guide ; 

But Heaven, with interposing power, 
In pity turn'd the death aside. 

Yet, as perchance one trembling tear 

Upon that thrilling bosom fell ; 
Which I, th' unconscious cause of fear, 

Extracted from its glistening cell : 

Say, what dire penance can atone 

For such an outrage done to thee ? 
Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne, 

What punishment wilt thou decree ? 

* TMa word 1b used by Gray, 1b his poem to the Fatal Sisters j— 
Iron sleet of arrowy shower 
Hurtle* through the daxken'd air." 



♦ 



$+ 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 27 

Might I pei form the judge's part, 

The sentence I should scarce deplore ; 

It only would restore a heart 

Which but belong'd to thee before. 

The least atonement I can make 

Is to become no longer free ; 
Henceforth I breathe but for thy sake, 

Thou shalt be all in all to me. 

But thou, perhaps, mayst now reject 

Such expiation of my guilt : 
Come, then, some other mode elect ; 

Let it be death, or what thou wilt. 

Choose then, relentless ! and I swear 
Nought shall thy dread decree prevent ; 

Yet hold — one little word forbear ! 
Let it be ought but banishment. 



LO V E'S LAST ADIEU. 

'Aci, 6' uet jxe <pev-jet.— Auacreon. 

The roses of love glad the garden of life, 

Though nurtured 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew, 

Till time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife, 
Or prunes them for ever, in love's last adieu. 

In vain with endearments we soothe the sad heart, 

In vain do we vow for an age to be true ; 
The chance of an hour may command us to part, 

Or death disunite us in love's last adieu ! 

Still Hope, breathing peace through the grief-swollen breast, 
Will whisper, " Our meeting we yet may renew :" 

With this dream of deceit half our sorrow 's repress' d, 
Nor taste we the poison of love's last adieu ! 

Qh I mark you yon pair : in the sunshine of youth 

Love twined round their childhood his flowers as they grSN j 

They flourish awhile in the season of truth, 
Till chill'd by the winter of love's last adieu 1 

Sweet lady ! why thus doth a tear steal its way 
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue ? 

Yet why do I ask ? — to distraction a prey, 

Thy reason has perish' d with love's last adieu \ 

Oh ! who is yon misanthrope, shunning mankind ? 

From cities to caves of the forest he flew : 
There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind ; 

The mountains reverberate love's last adieu 1 



-Kjh 



*& : J 






28 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Now hate rules a heart which in love's easy chaitL3 
Once passion's tumultuous blandishments knew, 

Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins ; 
He ponders in frenzy on love's last adieu ! 

How he envies the wretch with a soul wrapt in steel I 
His pleasures are scarce, 3 7 et his troubles are few, 

Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel, 
And dreads not the anguish of love's last adieu ! 

Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast ; 

No more with love's former devotion we sue : 
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the bls£fc ; 

The shroud of affection is love's last adieu ! 

In this life of probation for rapture divine, 
Astrea declares that some penance is due ; 

From him who has worshipp'd at love's gentle shrire, 
The atonement is ample in love's last adieu ! 

Who kneels to the god, on his altar of light 
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew : 

His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight ; 
His cypress the garland of love's last adieu ! 



DAJJLETAS. 

In law an infant, and in years a boy,* 

In mind a slave to every vicious joy ; 

From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd ; 

In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend ; 

Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child ; 

Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild ; 

Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool ; 

Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school 3 

Damaetas ran through all the maze of sin, 

And found the goal when others just begin : 

Even still conflicting passions shake his soul, 

And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl ; 

But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain, 

Ard what was once his bliss appears his bane. 



TO MARION. 

Marion ! why that pensive brow ? 
What disgust to life hast thou ? 
Change that discontented air ; 
Frowns become not one so fair. 
'Tis not love disturbs thy rest, 
Love 's a stranger to thy breast ; 

• In Ian . every peison is an infant who has not attained the age of tr>ent7-«8tek 

> ^ 



4* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 29 

He in dimpling smiles appears, 

Or mourns in sweetly timid tonm, 

Or bends the languid eyelid down, 

But shuns the cold forbidding frown. 

Then resume thy former fire, — 

Some will love, and all admire ; 

"While that icy aspect chills us, 

Nought but cool indifference thrills us. 

Wouldst thou wandering hearts beguile, 

Smile at least, or seem to smile. 

Eyes like thine were never meant 

To hide their orbs in dark restraint ; 

Spite of all thou fain wouldst say, 

Still i» truant beams they play. 

Thy lips — but here my modest muso 

Her impulse chaste must needs refuse : 

She blushes, curt'sies, frowns — in short she 

Dreads lest the subject should transport me j 

And flying off in search of reason, 

Brings prudence back in proper season ; 

All I shall therefore say (whate'er 

I think, is neither here nor there) 

Is, that such lips, of looks endearing, 

Were form'd for better things than sneering 

Of smoothing compliments divested, 

Advice at least's disinterested ; 

Such is my artless song to thee, 

From all the flow of flattery free ; 

Counsel like mine is like a brother's, 

My heart is given to some others ; 

That is to say, unskill'd to cozen, 

It shares itself among a dozen. 

Marion, adieu ! oh, pr'ythee slight not 

This warning, though it may delight not ; 

And, lest my precepts be displeasing 

To those who think remonstrance teasing, 

At once I'll tell thee our opinion 

Concerning woman's soft dominion : 

Howe'er we gaze with admiration 

On eyes of blue or lips carnation, 

Howe'er the flowing locks attract us, 

Howe'er those beauties may distract ua, 

Still fickle, we are prone to rove, 

These cannot fix our souls to \o\ e : 

It is not too severe a stricture 

To say they form a pretty pictvus ; 

But wouldst thou see the secret chain 

Which binds us in your humble trais^ 

T© hail you queens of all creation, 

Kaaow, in a word, 'tis ANIMATION. 



j* 



*$■ 



♦<|* — k^ 



30 



B Y RON'S POEMS. 



TO A LADY, 

WHO PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR A LOCK OF HAIR fcRATDEB 
WITH HIS OWN, AND APPOINTED A NIGHT IN DECEMBER TO 
HEET HIM IN THE GARDEN. 

These locks, which fondly thus entwine, 

In firmer chains our hearts confine, 

Than all th' unmeaning protestations 

Which swell with nonsense love orations. 

Our love is fix'd, I think we've proved it, 

Nor time, nor place, nor art have moved it ; 

Then wherefore should we sigh and whine, 

With groundless jealousy repine, 

With silly whims, and fancies frantic, 

Mereby to make our love romantic ? 

Why should you weep like Lydia Languish, 

And fret with self-created anguish ? 

Or doom the lover you have chosen, 

On winter nights to sigh half-frozen ; 

In leafless shades to sue for pardon, 

Only because the scent; 's a garden ? 

For gardens seem, by one consent, 

Since Shakspeare set the precedent, 

Since Juliet first declared her passion, 

To form the place of assignation.* 

Oh ! would some modern muse inspire, 

And seat her by a sea-coal fire ; 

Or had the bard at Christmas written 

And laid the scene of love in Britain, 

He surely, in commiseration, 

Had changed the place of declaration. 

In Italy I've no objection : 

Warm nights are proper for reflection J 

But here our climate is so rigid, 

That love itself is rather frigid : 

Think on our chilly situation, 

And «.urb this rage for imitation ; 

Then let us meet, as oft we've done, 

Beneath the influence of the sun ; 

Or, if at midnight I must meet you, 

Within your mansion let me greet you : 

There we can love for hours together, 

Much better, in such snowy weather, 

Than placed in all th' Arcadian groves 

That ever witness'd rural loves ; 

• l» the above little piece, the author ha* been accused by sore* cnnHd t ea*i«T» of 
Introducing the name of a lady from whom he was some hundred mile* distant At the tiuv. 
this was written ; and poor Juliet, who has slept so long in " l.te tomb of all th* 
Capulets," has been converted, with a trifling alteration of hei name, into an English 
damsel, walking in a garden of their own creation, during the montn of December, in 
a village where the author never passed a winter. Such has been the candour of «om« 
Ingenious critics. We would advise these liberal commentaWi oa taste and arbiters aS 
iecuruiu to read Sbakspeaxe. 



4 



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& 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 31 

Then, if my passion fail to please, 
hiext ni^;M I'll be content to freeao ; 
Ho more i il give a loose to laughter, 
But curse ray fate for ever after.* 



OSCAR OF ALVA.r 

A TALE. 

How sweetly shines through azure skioa 

The lamp of heaven on Lora's whore ; 
Where Alva's hoary turrets rise, 

And hear the din of arms no more. 

But ofton has yon rolling moon 

On A1t a's casques of silver play'd ; 
And view'd at midnight's silent noon 

Her chiefs in gleaming mail array 'd : 

And on the crimson'd rocks beneath, 

Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow, 
Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death, 

She saw the gasping warrior low ; 

While many an eye which ne'er again 

Could mark the rising orb of day, 
Turn'd feebly from the gory plain, 

Beheld in death her fading ray. 

Once to those eyes the lamp of Love, 
They bless'd her dear propitious light ; 

But now she glimmer' d from above, 
A sad, funereal torch of night. 

Faded is Alva's noble race, 

And gray her towers are seen afar ; 
No more her heroes urge the chase, 

Or roll the crimson tide of war. 

But who was last of Alva's clan ? 

Why grows the moss on Alva's stono ? 
Her towers resound no steps of man, 

They echo to the gale alone. 

And when that gale is fierce and high, 

A sound is heard in yonder hall ; 
It rises hoarsely through the sky, 

And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall. 

Having heard that a very severe and indelicate censure has been passed ca the afeewa 
poem, I beg leave to reply, in a quotation from an admired work, — " Carr's Stranger ia 
Trance." — " As we were contemplating a painting on a large scale, in which, among oth«r 
lgures, la the uncovered whole-length of a warrior, a prudish -looking lady, who seemed 
to have touched the age of desperation, after having attentively surveyed it through hei 
flags, observed to her par+y, that there was a great deal of indecorum in that picture 
tfadame S. shrewdly whispered in my ear that the indecorum was in the remark." 

t The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of " Jeronyme and Lorenzo,* 
in the first volume of Schiller's " Armenian, or the Ghost-Seer." It also hews eoaoc 
rasemblanoe to a scene in th« third act - f " Hacbeth. u 



32 BYRON'S POEMS.) 

Yes, when the eddying tempest s : gas, 
It shakes the shield of Oscar brave ; 

But there no more his banners rise, 
No more his plumes of sable wave. 

Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth, 
When Angus hail'd his eldest born ; 

The vassals round their chieftain's hearth 
Crowd to applaud the happy morn. 

They feast upon the mountain deer, 
The pibroch raised its piercing note : 

To gladden more their Highland cheer, 
The strains in martial numbers float ; 

And they who heard the war-notes wild, 
Hoped that one day the pibroch's strain 

Should play before the hero's child, 
While he should lead the tartan train. 

Another year is quickly past, 
And Angus hails another son ; 

His natal day is like the last, 
Nor soon the jocund feast was done. 

Taught by their sire to bend the bow, 

On Alva's dusky hills of wind, 
The boys in childhood chased the roe, 

And left their hounds in speed behind. 

But ere their years of youth are o'er, 
They mingle in the ranks of war ; 

They lightly wheel the bright claymore, 
And send the whistling arrow far. 

Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair, 
Wildly it stream'd along the gale ; 

But Allan's locks were bright and fair, 
And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale. 

But Oscar own'd a hero's soul, 

His dark eye shone through beams of truth 5 
Allan had early learn' d control, 

And smooth his words had been from youth. 

Both, both were brave : the Saxon spear 
Was shiver' d oft beneath their steel ; 

And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear, 
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel ; 

While Allan's soul belied his form. 

Unworthy with such charms to dwell s 

Keen as the lightning of the storm, 
On foes his deadly vengeance fell. 

From high Southannon's distant tower 
Arrived a young and noble dame ; 

With Kenneth's lauds to form her dower, 
GlenalvouVblue-eyed daughter came ; 




t 



#* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 33 

And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bridi. 

And Angus on his Oscar smiled ; 
It soothed the father's feudal pride 

Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child. 

Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note ! 

Hark to the swelling nuptial song I 
In joyous strains the voices float, 

And still the choral peal prolong. 

See how the heroes' blood-red plumes 

Assembled wave in Alva's hall ; 
Each youth his varied plaid assumes, 

Attending on their chieftain's call. 

It is not war their aid demands, 

The pibroch plays the song of peace ; 
To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands, 

Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease. 

But where is Oscar ? sure 'tis late : 

Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame ? 
While thronging guests and ladies wait, 

Nor Oscar nor his brother came. 

At length young Allan join'd the bride : 
" Why comes not Oscar ?" Angus said ; 

" Is he not here ?" the youth replied ; 
" With me he roved not o'er the glade. 

" Perchance, forgetful of the day, 

'Tis his to chase the bounding roe ; 
Or ocean's w r aves prolong his stay ; 

Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow." 

** Oh, no ! " the anguish'd sire rejoin'd, 

"Nor chase nor wave my boy delay ; 
Would he to Mora seem unkind ? 

Would aught to her impede his way ? 

" Oh, search, ye chiefs ! oh, search around 1 

Allan, with these through Alva fly ; 
Till Oscar, till my son is found, 

Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply." 

A.H is confusion — through the vale 

The name of Oscar hoarsely rings, 
It rises on the murmuring gale, 

Till night expands her dusky wings ; 

It bieaks the stillness o\ the night, 

But echoes through her shades in vain, 
It sounds through morning's misty light, 

But Oscar comes not o'er the plain. 

Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief 
For Oscar search' d each mountain cave i 

Then hope is lost ; in boundless grief, 
His locks in gray-torn ring tots wave. 




*& 



BYRON'S POEMS. 

" Oscar ! my son ! — thou God of hos-v 5 !!, 
Restore the prop oi sinking age I 

Or i1 that hope uo more is given. 
Yield his assassin to my rage. 

■' Yes, on some desert rocky shore 
My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie ; 

Then grant, thou God ! I ask no more, 
With him his frantic sire may die ! 

•' Yet he may live — away, despair ! 

Be calm, my soul ! he yet may live ; 
T arraign my fate, my voice forbear ! 

God ! my impious prayer forgive. 

*' What, if he live for me no more, 

1 sink forgotten in the dust, 
The hope of Alva's age is o'er ; 

Alas ! can pangs like these be just '" 

Thus did the hapless parent mourn, 
Till Time, which soothes severest vso% 

Had bade serenity return, 

And made the tear-drop cease to tloF. 

For still some latent hope survived 
That Oscar might once more appear ; 

His hope now droop'd and now revived-, 
Till Time had told a tedious year. 

Days roll'd aloug, the orb of light 
Again had run his destined race ; 

No Oscar bless' d his father's sight, 
And sorrow left a fainter trace. 

For youthful Allan still remain'd, 
Aud dow his lather's only joy : 

And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd, 
For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy. 

She thought that Oscar low was laid. 
And Allan's face was wondrous fair ; 

H Oscar lived, some other maid 

Had claim'd his faithless bosom's caxz. 

And Angus said, if one year more 
In frutless hope was pass'd away, 

His fondest scruples should be o'er, 
And he would name their nuptial day. 

Blow roll'd the moons, but blest at lest 
Arrived the dearly destined morn ; 

The year of anxious trembling past, 
What smiles the lovers' cheeks adcmi 

Hark to the pibroch's pleasiug note ! 

Hark to the swelling nuptial song ] 
In ioyous strains the voices float. 

And still the choral peal prolong. 



4- 



-4 



HOURS OF ID LEX ESS. 35 

Again the clan, in festive crowd, 

Throng through the gate of Alva's hall ; 

The sounds of mirth re-echo loud, 
And all their former joy recall. 

But who is he, whose darken'd brow 
Glooms in the midst of goneral mirth T 

Before his eyes' far fiercer glow 
The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth, 

Dark is the robe which wraps his form, 

And tall his plume of gory red ; 
His voice is like the rising storm, 

But light and trackless is his tread. 

"Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round, 
The bridegroom's health is deeply quaff' d ; 

With shouts the vaulted roofs resound, 
And all combine to hail the draught. 

Sudden the stranger-chief arose, 

And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd ; 

And Angus' cheek with wonder glows, 
And Mora's tender bosom blush'd. 

" Old man !" he cried, "this pledge ia dont ; 

Thou saw'st 'twas duly drunk by me : 
It hail'd the nuptials of thy son : 

Now will I claim a pledge from thee. 

"While all around is mirth and joy, 

To bless thy Allan's happy lot, 
Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy ? 

Say, why should Oscar be forgot '( " 

'* Alas ! " the helpless sire replied, 

The big tear starting as he spoke, 
•• When Oscar left my hall, or died, 

This aged heart was almost broke. 

•' Thrice has the earth revolved her course 
Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight ; 

And Allan is my last resource, 

Since martial Oscar's death or flight." 

'•'Tis well," replied the stranger stern, 

And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye : 
Thy Oscar's fate I fain would learn : 

Perhaps the hero did not die. 

" Perchance, if those whom most he loved 

Would call, thy Oscar might return ; 
Perchance the chief has only roved ; 

For him thy beltane yet may burn.* 

< Reltaoe rree, % Highland festival *;: the Qrat of May, held near fir* lighted for tile 
DMMlon. 

u 2 



4 




<\ 



36 BYRON'S POEMS. 

" Fill high the bowl the table round, 
We will not claim the pledge by stealth J 

With wine let every cup be crown'd ; 
Pledge me departed Oscar's health." 

" Witb all my soul," oil Angus said, 

And fill'd his goblet to the brim ; 
" Here's to my boy ! alive or dead, 

I ne'er shall find a son like him." 

" Bravely, old man, this health has sped ; 

But why does trembling Allan stand ? 
Come, drink remembrance of the dead. 

And raise thy cup with firmer hand." 

The crimson glow of Allan's face 

Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue ; 
The drops of death each other chaso 

Adown in agonizing dew. 

Thrice did he raise the goblet high, 

And thrice his lips refused to taste ; 
For thrice he caught the stranger's eye 

On his with deadly fury placed. 

" And is it thus a brother hails 

A brother's fond remembrance hero ? 
If thus affection's strength prevails, 

What might we not expect from fear?" 

Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl, 

" Would Oscar now could share our mirth i" 

Internal fear appall' d his soul ; 

He said, and dash'd the cup to earth. 

" 'Tis he ! I hear my murderer's voice !" 
Loud shrieks a darkly-gleaming form ; 

" A murderer's voice ! ' the roof replies, 
And deeply swells the bursting storm. 

The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink. 
The stranger 's gone, — amidst the crew 

A form was seen in tartan green, 
And tall the shade terrific grew. 

His waist was bound with a broad belt round, 
His plume of sable stream'd on high ; 

But his breast was bare, with the red wounda ^h<&re, 
And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye. 

And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild, 

On Angus bending low the knee ; 
And thrice he frown'd on a chief on the ground, 

Whom shivering crowds with horror see. 

The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole 
The bunders through the welkin ring, 

And che gleaming lbrni, through the midst of the stona, 
Was borne «d high by the whirlwind's wing. 



o 



*t: 



<I> 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 37 

Cold was the foast, the revel ceased, — 

Who lies upon the stony floor ? 
Oblivion press'd old Angus' breast, 

At length his life-pulse throbs once mora. 

*' Away ! away ! lot the leech essay 

To pour the light on Allan's eyes "" 
His sand is done, — his raoo is run ; 

Oh 1 naver more shall Allan rise 1 

But Oscar's breast is cold as clay, 

His locks are lifted by the gale: 
And Allan's barbed arrow lay 

With him in dark Glentanar's vale. 

And whence the dreadful stranger came, 

Or who, no mortal wight can tell ; 
But no one doubts the form of flame, 

For Alva's sons knew Oscar well. 

Ambition nerved young Allan's hand, 

Exulting demons wing'd his dart ; 
While Envy waved her burning brand, 

And pour'd her venom round his heart. 

Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow ; 

Whose streaming life-blood stains his side? 
Dark Oscar's sable crest is low, 

The dart has drunk his vital tide. 

And Mora's eye could Allan move, 

She bade his wounded pride rebel ; 
Alas ! that eyes which beam'd with lovo 

Should urge the soul to deeds of hell. 

Lo ! seest thou not a lonely tomb 

Which rises o'er a warrior dead ? 
It glimmers through the twilight gloom ; 

Oh ! that is Allan's nuptial bed. 

Far, distant far, the noble grave 

Which held his clan's great ashes stood ; 

And o'er his corse no banners wave, 

For they were stain'd with kindred blood. 

What minstrel gray, what hoary bard, 
Shall Allan's deeds on harp-strings raiso ? 

The song is glory's chiei reward, 

But who can strike a murderer's praise ? 

Unstrung, untouch' d, the harp must stand, 

No minstrel dare the theme awake ; 
G uilt would benumb his palsied hand, 

His harp in shuddering chords would bred& 

No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse, 

Shall sound his glories high in air ; 
A dying father's bitter curse. 

A brother's death-groan echoes there. 



4* 



38 BYRON'S POEMS. 



THE EPISODE OF NTSUS AND EURYALUS. 

A PARAPHRASE FROM THE jENEID, LIB. IX. 

Nisns, the guardian of the portal stood, 

Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood ; 

Well skill'd in fight the quivering lance to wield, 

Or pour his arrows through th' embattled field : 

From Ida torn, he left his sylvan cave, 

And sought a foreign home, a distant grave. 

To watch the movements of the Daunian host, 

With him Euryalus sustains the post ; 

No lovelier mien adorn'd the ranks of Troy, 

And beardless bloom yet graced the gallant boy ; 

Though few the seasons of his youthful life, 

As yet a novice in the martial strife, 

'Twas his, with beauty, valour's gifts to share — 

A soul heroic, as his form was fair : 

These bum with one pure flame of generous love ; 

In peace, in war, united still they move ; 

Friendship and glory form their joint reward ; 

And now combined they hold their nightly guard. 

" What god," exclaim'd the first, " instils this fire » 
Or, in itself a god, what great desire ? 
My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd, 
Abhors this station of inglorious rest ; 
The love of fame with this can ill accord, 
Be't mine to seek for glory with my sword. 
Soest thou yon camp, with torches twinkling dira, 
Where drunken slumbers wrap each lazy limb ? 
Where confidence and ease the watch disdain, 
A nd drowsy Silence holds her sable reign ? 
Then hear my thought : — In deep and sullen gri-sf 
Our troops and leaders mourn their absent chief: 
Now could the gifts and promised prize be thine 
(The deed, the danger, and the fame be mine), 
Were this decreed, beneath yon rising mound, 
Methinks, an easy path perchance were found : 
Which past, I speed my way to Pallas' walls, 
kxxd lead ./Eneas from Evander's halls." 

With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy, 
His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy : — 
" These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone ? 
Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own ? 
Am I by thee despised, and left afar, 
As one unfit to share the toils of war ? 
Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught , 
Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought ; 
Not thus, when Ilion fell by heavenly hate, 
I track'd ^Eneas through the walks of fate : 
Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid or fear, 
And hostile life-drops dim my gory spear. 



4 



HOURS OF IDLENESS, 3y 

Here is a soul with hope immortal burns. 

And life, ignoble life, for glory spurns. 

Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath *, 

The price of honour is the sleep of death." 

Then Nisus, — " Calm thy bosom's fond ularms, 
Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms. 
More dear thy worth and valour than my owo, 
I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne I 
So may I triumph, as I speak the truth, 
And clasp again the comrado of my youth ! 
But should I fall, — and he who dares advance 
Through hostile legions must abide by chance, — 
If some RutiUian arm, with adverse blow, 
Should lay the friend who ever loved thee lov.', 
Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve, 
Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve. 
When humbled in the dust, let some one be 
Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me ; 
Whose manly arm may snatch me back by toroo^ 
Or wealth redeem from foes ny captive corse ; 
Or, if my destiny these last deny, 
If in the spoiler's power my ashes lie, 
Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb, 
To mark thy love, and signalize my doom. 
Why should thy doting wretched mother we*=p 
Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep ? 
Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dared, 
Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shared ; 
Who braved what woman never braved beloro, 
And left her native for the Latian shore." 
''In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,'" 
Replied Euryalus : "it scorns control ! 
Hence, let us haste !" — their brother guards arose^ 
Roused by their call, nor court again repose ; 
The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing, 
Their stations leave, and speed to seek the ki£^. 

Now o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran, 
And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man ; 
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold 
Alternate converse, and their plans unfold. 
On one great point the council are agreed, 
An instant message to their prinee decreed ; 
Each lean'd upon the lance he well could wiei<3, 
And poised with easy arm his ancient shield ; 
When Nisus and his triend their leave request 
To offer something to their high behest. 
With anxious tremors, yet unawed by fear, 
The faithful pair before the throne appear ; 
lulus greets them ; at his kind command, 
The elder first address'd the hoary band. 

' ' With patience " (thus Hyrtacides began) 
" Attend, nor judge from youth our humble pi&&» 



4* 



&*■ 



* 



«.o BYRON'S POEMS. 

Where yonder beacons half expiring beam, 
Our slumbering foes of future conquest dream, 
Nor heed that we a secret path have traced, 
Between the ocean and the portal placed. 
Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke, 
Whose shade securely our design will cloak ; 
If you, ye chiefs, and fortune will allow, 
We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brov, 
Where Pallas' walls at distance meet the sight, 
Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night : 
Then shall ./Eneas in his pride return, 
While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn ; 
And Latian spoils and purpled heaps of dead 
Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread. 
Such is our purpose, not unknown the way ; 
Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray, 
Oft have we seen, when hunting b) T the stream, 
The distant spires above the valleys gleam." 

Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed, 
Moved by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd,— 
" Ye parent gods ! who rule the fate of Troy, 
Stiil dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy ; 
When minds like these in striplings thus ye raicc, 
Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise ; 
Ju gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive, 
And 1 lion's wonted glories still survive." 
Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd, 
And, quivering, strain'd them to his aged breast j 
With tears the burning cheek of each bedew' d, 
And, sobbing, thus his first discourse renew'd : 
" What gift, my countrymen, what martial priso 
Can we bestow, which you may not despise f 
Our deities the first best boon have given — 
Internal virtues are the gift of Heaven. 
What poor rewards can bless your deeds on flartb. 
Doubtless await such young, exalted worth. 
iEneas and Ascanius shall combine 
To yield applause far, far surpassing mine." 
lulus then : — " By all the powers above ! 
By those Penates who my country love! 
By hoary Vesta's sacred fane, I swear 
My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair I 
Restore my father to my grateful sight, 
And all my sorrows yield to one delight. 
Nisus ! two silver goblets are thine own, 
Saved from Arisba's stately domes o'erthrovni ; 
My sire secured them on that fatal day, 
Nor left such bowls an Argive robber's prey : 
Two massy tripods, also, shall be thine : 
Two talents polish'd from the glittering mine \ 



•& 



An ancient cup, which Tyrian Dido gave, 
While yet our vessels press'd the Punic wave : 



4- 






NOVA'S OF IDLENESS. 4 1 



But when the hostile chiofs at length bow down, 

"When great ^Eneas wears Hesperia's crown, 

The casque, the buckler, and the fiery steed 

Which Turnus guides with more than mortal speed, 

Are tb\ne ; no envious lot shall then be cast, 

I pledge my word, irrevocably past : 

Nay, more, twelve slaves, and twice six captive dames, 

To soothe thy softer hours with amorous Hames, 

And all the realms which now the Latins sway, 

The labours of to-night shall well repay. 

But thou, my generous youth, whose tender years 

Are near my own, whose worth my heart reveres, 

Henceforth affection sweetly thus begun, 

Shall join our bosoms and o\ir souls in one; 

Without thy aid, no glory shall be mine ; 

Without thy dear advice, no great design ; 

Alike through life esteem' d, thou godlike boy, 

In war my bulwark, and in peace my joy." 

To him Euryalus : — "No day shall shame 
The rising glories which from this I claim. 
Fortune may favour, or the skies may frown, 
But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown. 
Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart, 
One boon I beg, the nearest to my heart : 
My mother, sprung from Priam's royal line, 
Line thine ennobled, hardly less divine, 
Nor Troy nor King Acestes' realms restrain 
Her feeble age from dangers of the main ; 
Alone she came, all selfish fears above, 
A bright example of maternal love. 
Unknown the secret enterprise I brave, 
Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave ; 
From this alone no fond adieus I seek, 
No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek 9 
By gloomy night and thy right hand I vow 
Her parting tears would shake my purpose noir . 
Do thou, my prince, her failing age sustain, 
In thee her much-loved child may live again ; 
Her dying hours with pious conduct bless, 
Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress : 
80 dear a hope must all my soul inflame, 
To rise in glory, or to fall in fame." 
Struck with a filial care so deeply felt, 
In tears at once the Trojan warriors melt : 
Faster than all, lulus' eyes o'erflow ; 
Such love was his, and such had been his woe. 
"All thou hast ask'd, receive, " the prince replied 5 
" Nor this alone, but many a gift beside. 
To cheer thy mother's years, shall be my aim, 
Creusa's style but wanting to the dame.* 

• Kie mother of lulu*, lott on the ni^tat when Troy was t&Jsso. 



i> 



^ 



42 E Y RON'S POEMS. 

Fortune an adverse wayward course may ran. 

But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son. 

Now, by my life ! — my sire's most sacred oath — 

To thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth, 

All the rewards which once to thee were vowM, 

If thou shouldst fall, on her shall be bestow'd." 

Thus spoke the weeping prince, then forth to view 

A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew ; 

Lycaon's utmost skill had graced the steel, 

For friends to envy and for foes to feel : 

A tawny hide, the Moorish lion's spoil, 

Slain 'midst the forest, in the hunter's toil, 

Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestows, 

And old Alethes' casque defends his brows. 

Arm'd, thence they go, while all th' assembled train, 

To aid their cause, implore the gods in vain. 

More than a boy, in wisdom and in grace, 

lulus holds amidst the chiefs his place : 

His prayer he sends ; but what can prayers avoU, 



Lost in the murmurs of the sighing gale ! 

The trench is pass'd, and, favour'd by the night, 
Through sleeping foes they wheel their wary filghS 
When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er? 
Alas ! some slumber who shall wake no more ! 
Chariots and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen ; 
And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between : 
Bacchus and Mars to rule the camp combine ; 
A mingled chaos this of war and wine. 
" Now," cries the first, " for deeds of blood prcpars, 
With me the conquest and the labour share : 
Here lies our path ; lest any hand arise, 
Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dies : 
I'll carve our passage through the heedless foe, 
And clear thy road with many a deadly blow." 
His whispering accents then the youth repress'd, 
And pierced proud Rhamnes through his panting bre&st : 
Stretch'd at his ease, th' incautious king reposed ; 
Debauch, and not fatigue, his e} r es had closed : 
To Turnus dear, a prophet and a prince, 
His omens more than augur's skill evince ; 
But he, who thus foretold the fate of all, 
Could not avert his own untimely fall. 
Next Remus' armourbearer, hapless, fell, 
And three unhappy slaves the carnage swell ,* 
The charioteer along his courser's sides 
Fxpires, the steel his sever' d neck divides ; 
And, last, his lord is number'd with the dead . 
Bounding convulsive, flies the gasping head ; 
From the swoll'n veins the blackening torrente poll? ; 
Stain 'd is the couch and earth with clotting gore. 
Young Lamyrus and Lamus next expire, 
And gay Seranus, fill'd with youthful fire ; 

♦^ ^ 



-4 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 43 

Half the long night in childish games was paas'd, 
Lull'd by the potent grape, he slept at last : 
Ah ! happier far had he the morn survey 'd, 
And till Aurora's dawn his skill display'd. 

In slaughter'd fold, the keepers lost in sleep, 
His hungry fangs a lion thus may steep ; 
'Mid the sad flock, at dead of night he prowls, 
With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls : 
Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roams ; 
In seas of gore the lordly tyrant foams. 

Nor less the other's deadly vengeance cams, 
But falls on feeble crowds without a name ; 
His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel, 
Yet wakeful Rhssus sees the threatening steel ; 
His coward breast behind a jar he hides, 
And vainly in the weak defence confides ; 
Full in his heart, the falchion search'd his veins, 
The reeking weapon bears alternate stains ; 
Through wine and blood, commingling as they flo'tf, 
One feeble spirit seeks the shades below. 
Now where Messapus dwelt they bend their way, 
Whose fires emit a faint and trembling ray ; 
There, unconfined, behold each grazing steed, 
Unwatch'd, unheeded, on the herbage feed : 
Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm, 
Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm : 
" Hence let us haste, the dangerous path is pass'd ; 
Full foes enough to-night have breathed their last: 
Soon will the day those eastern clouds adorn ; 
Now let us speed, nor tempt the rising morn." 

With silver arms, with various art emboss'd, 
What bowls and mantles in confusion toss'd, 
They leave regardless ! yet one glittering prizs 
Attracts the younger hero's wandering eyes ; 
The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt, 
The gems which stud the monarch's golden belfc : 
This from the pallid corse was quickly torn, 
Once by a line of former chieftains worn. 
Th' exulting boy the studded girdle wears, 
Messapus' helm his head in triumph bears ; 
Then from the tents their cautious steps they b©£d, 
To seek the vale where safer paths extend. 

Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse 
To Turnus' camp pursue their destined course: 
While the slow foot their tardy march delay, 
The knights, impatient, spur along the way : 
Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led, 
To Turnus with their master's promise sped ; 
Now they approach the trench, and view the wali% 
When, on the left, a light reflection falh ; 



+0* 



*&♦ 



BYRON'S POEMS. 

The plunder' d helmet, tbTough the waning night, 
Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright. 
Volscens with question loud the pair alarms : — 
" Stand, stragglers ! stand ! why early thus in arms ? 
From whence, to whom ? " — He meets with no cepij t 
Trusting the covert of the night, they fly : 
The thicket's depth with hurried pace they trea i, 
While round the wood the hostile squadron spread. 

With brakes entangled, scarce a path between, 
Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene : 
Euryalus his heavy spoils impede, 
The boughs aud winding turns his steps mislead ; 
But Nisus scours along the forest's maze 
To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze, 
Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend, 
On every side they seek his absent friend. 
" God ! my boy," he cries, "of me bereft, 
In what impending perils art thou left ! " 
Listening he runs — above the waving trees, 
Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze ; 
The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around 
Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground. 
Again he turns, of footsteps hears the noise ; 
The sound elates, the sight his hope destroys : 
The hapless boy a ruffian train surround, 
While lengthening shades his weary way confound ; 
Him with loud shouts the furious knights pursue, 
Struggling in vain, a captive to the crew. 
What can his friend 'gainst thronging numbers dare \ 
Ah ! must he rush his comrade's fate to share ] 
What force, what aid, what stratagem essay, 
Back to redeem the Latian spoiler's prey ? 
His life a votive ransom nobly give, 
Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live ? 
Poising with strength his lifted lance on high, 
On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye : — 
" Goddess serene, transcending every star ! 
Queen of the sky, whose beams are seen afar ! 
By night heaven owns thy sway, by day the grovs, 
When, as chaste Dian, here thou deign'st to rove : 
If e'er myself, or sire, have sought to grace 
Thine altars with the produce of the chase, 
Speed, speed my dart to pierce yon vaunting crowd, 
To free my friend, and scatter far the proud." 
Thu3 having said, the hissing dart he flung ; 
Through parted shades the hurtling weapon Bong ; 
The thirsty point in Sulmo's entrails lay, 
Transfix'd his heart, and stretch'd him on the clay : 
He sobs, he dies, — the troop in wild amaze, 
Unconscious whence the death, with horror gaze. 
While pale they stare, through Tagus' temples rivo^ 
A. second shaft with equal force is driven. 






<r 



4- 



4- 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 45 

Fierce Volscens rolls around his lowering eyes : 
Veil'd by the night, secure the Trojan lies. 
Burning with wrath, he view'd his soldiers fall " 
" Thou youth accurst, thy life shall pay for all' '' 
Quick from the sheath his flaming glaive he drew, 
And, raging, on the boy defenceless flew. 
Nisus no more the blackening shape conceals, 
J^orth, forth he starts, and all his love reveals ; 
Aghast, confused, his fears to madness rise, 
And pour these accents, shrieking as he flies ; 
"Me, me, — your vengeance hurl on me alone ; 
Here sheathe the steel, my blood is all your own. 
Ye starry spheres ! thou conscious Heaven ! atteai I 
He could not — durst not — lo ! the guile confest 1 
All, all was mine, — his early fate suspend ; 
He only loved too well his hapless friend : 
Spare, spare, ye chiefs ! from him your rage remove ; 
His fault was friendship, all his crime was love." 
He pray'd in vain ; the dark assassin's sword 
Pierced the fair side, the snowy bosom gored ; 
Lowly to earth inclines his plume-clad crest, 
And sanguine torrents mantle o'er his breast : 
As some young rose, whose blossom scents the air, 
Languid in death, expires beneath the share ; 
Or crimson poppy, sinking with the shower, 
Declining gently, falls a fading flower ; 
Thus, sweetly drooping, bends his lovely head, 
And lingering beauty hovers round the dead. 

But fiery Nisus stems the battle's tide, 
Revenge his leader and despair his guide : 
Volscens he seeks amidst the gathering host, 
Volscens must soon appease his comrade's ghost : 
Steel, flashing, pours on steel, foe crowds on foe ; 
Rage nerves his arm, fate gleams in every blow ; 
In vain beneath unnumber'd wounds he bleeds. 
Nor wounds, nor death, distracted Nisus heeds ; 
In viewless circies wheel' d, his falchion flies, 
Nor quits the hero's grasp till Volscens dies ; 
Deep in his throat its end the weapon found, 
The tyrant's soul fled groaning through the wouud. 
Thus Nisus all his fond affection proved — 
Dying, revenged the fate of him he loved ; 
Then on his bosom sought his wonted place, 
And death was heavenly in his friend's embrace. 

Celestial pair ! if aught my verse can claim, 
Wafted on Time's broad pinion, yours is fame J 
Ages on ages shall your fate admire, 
No future day shall see your names expire, 
While stands the Capitol, immortal dome ! 
And vanquished millions hail their empress, Rom© < 



*T 



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46 BYRON'S POEMS. 



TRANSLATION FROM THE MEDEA OF EURIPIDES, 

When fierce conflicting passions urge 

The breast where love is wont to glow, 
What mind can stem the stormy surge 

Which rolls the tide of human woe ? 

The hope of praise, the dread of shame, 

Can rouse the tortured breast uo more ; 
The wild desire, the guilty flame, 

Absorbs each wish it felt before. 

But if affection gently thrills 

The soul by purer dreams possess' d, 
The pleasing balm of mortal ills 

In love can soothe the aching breast : 
If thus thou comest in disguise, 

Fair Venus ! from thy native heaven, 
What heart unfeeling would despise 

The sweetest boon the gods have given I 

But never from thy golden bow 

May I beneath the shaft expire ! 
Whose creeping venom, sure and slow, 

Awakes an all-consuming fire : 
Ye racking doubts ! ye jealous fears I 

With others wage internal war ; 
Repentance, source of future tears, 

From me be ever distant far ! 

May no distracting thoughts destroy 

The holy calm of sacred love ! 
May all the hours be wing'd with joy, 

Which hover faithful hearts above I 
Fair Venus ! on thy myrtle shrine 

May I with some fond lover sigh, 
Whose heart may mingle pure with mia©-* 

With me to live, with me to die. 

My native soil ! beloved before, 

Now dearer as my peaceful home, 
Ne'er may I quit thy rocky shore, 

A hapless banish'd wretch to roam 1 
This very day, this very hour, 

May I resign this fleeting breath t 
Nor quit my silent humble bower , 

A doom to me far worse than death. 

Have I not heard the exile's sigh ? 

And seen the exile's silent tear, 
Through distant climes condemn'd to fljj 

A pensive weary wanderer here? 

^ ^ 



4* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 47 

Ah ! hapless dame ! no sire bewails,* 
No friend thy wretched fate deplores, 

No kindred voice with rapture haiU 
Thy steps within a stranger's door*. 

Perish the fiend whose iron heart, 

To fair aflection's truth unknown. 
Bids her he fondly loved depart, 

Unpitied, helpless, and alone ; 
Who ne'er unlocks with silver key"t" 

The milder treasures of his soul, — 
May such a friend be far from me, 

And ocean's storms between us roll. 



THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY A COLLEGE 
EXAMINATION. 

High in the midst, surrounded by his peers, 
Magnus his ample front sublime uprears :+ 
Placed on his chair of state, he seems a god, 
While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod. 
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom, 
His voice in thunder shakes the sounding dome ; 
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools, 
UnskuTd to plod in mathematic rules. 

Happy the youth in Euclid's axioms tried, 
Though little versed in any art beside ; 
Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to pen, 
Scans Attic metres with a critic's ken. 
What, though he knows not how his fathers bled, 
When civil discord piled the fields with dead, 
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance, 
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France : 
Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta, 
Yet well he recollects the law of Sparta : 
Can tell what edicts sage Lycurgus made, 
While Blackstone 's on the shelf neglected laid ; 
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame, 
Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the name. 

Such is the youth whose scientific pate 
Class honours, medals, fellowships, await ; 
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize, 
If to s»ch glorious height he lifts his eyea. 

• Kedea, who accompanied Jason to Corinth, was deserted by him tor Wis oaxyjn'Wl of 

Creon, king of that city. The chorus from which this is taken here addresses Medea ; 

though a considerable liberty is taken with the original, by expanding the idea, as also 

in tome other parts of the translation. 
1 The original means literally " disclosing the bright key of the mind." 
I No reflection Is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of 

Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable function ol his office. 

Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon myself; as that gentleman U now aa 

mui-h distinguished by bis eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he Alls ai? 

Utuatlou, a* tee *u ia Iiu foungex cUys for wil and uonvivuUjty. 



+f$4 ' K±) 

48 £ YR OAT'S FO£MS. 

But \o ! no common orator can hops 

The envied silver cup within his scope 

Not that our heads much eloquence require, 

Th' Athenian's* glowing style, or Tully's fire. 

A manner clear or warm is useless, since 

We do not try by speaking to convince. 

lie other orators of pleasing proud : 

We speak to please ourselves, not move the cro^rd -. 

Our gravity prefers the muttering tone, 

A proper mixture of the squeak and groan : 

No borrow'd grace of action must be seen, — 

The slighteet motion would displease the Dean ; 

Whilst every staring graduate would prate 

Against what he could never imitate. 

The man who hopes t' obtain the promised cup 
Must in one posture stand, and ne'er look up, 
Nor stop, but rattle over every word — 
No matter what, so it can not be heard. 
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest : 
Who speaks the fastest 's sure to speak the best ■ 
Who utters most within the shortest space 
>/ay safely hope to win the wordy race. 

The sons of science these, who, thus repaid, 
Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade ; 
Where on Cam's sedgy bank supine they he 
Unknown, unhonour'd live, unwept for die : 
Dull as the pictures which adorn their halls, 
They think all learning fix'd within their walls ; 
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise, 
All modern arts affecting to despise ; 
Yet prizing Bentley's, Brunck's or Person's note,*? 
More than the verse on which the critic wrote : 
*fain as their honours, heavy as their ale, 
bad as their wit, and tedious as their tale ; 
To friendship dead, though not untaught to fee* 
When Self and Church demand a bigot zeal. 
With eager haste they court the lord of power, 
Whether 'tis Pitt or Petty rules the hour ;£ 
To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend the he-id, 
While distant mitres to their eyes are spread. 
But should a storm o'erwhelm him with disgrace, 
They'd fly to seek the next who fill'd his place. 
Such are the men who learning's treasures guard ! 
Such is their practice, such is their reward ! 
This much, at least, we may presume to say — 
The premium can't exceed the price they pay. — 

• Demosthenes. 

♦ Porson, Greek professor of Trinity College, Cambridge ; a man wliose powers of n-.md 
»Q'I writings may, perhaps, justify their preference. 

I Since this was written, Lord Henry Petty has lost his place, and subsequently (I nad 
almost said consequently) the honour of representing the University. A tact so gbuin* 
SeqiiirM no oomniout. 




O 



<^ 



HOUKS OF IDLEAESS. 49 



TO A BEAUTIFUL QUAKER. 

Swkbt fiprl ! though only once we mot, 

That meeting I shall ne'er forget ; 

And though we ne'er may meet again, 

Remembrance will thy form retain. 

I would not say, " I love," but still 

My senses struggle with my will ; 

In vain, to drive thee from my breast, 

My thoughts are more and more represa'd ; 

In vain I check the rising sighs, 

Another to the last replies : 

Perhaps this is not love, but yet 

Our meeting I can ne'er forget. 

What though we never silence broke, 

Our eyes a sweeter language spoke , 

The tongue in flattering falsehood deals. 

And tells a tale it never fet^s : 

Deceit the guilty lips impart ; 

And hush the mandates of the heart ; 

But soul's interpreters, the eyes, 

Spurn such restraint, and scorn disguise. 

As thus our glances oft conversed, 

And all our bosoms felt rehearsed, 

No spirit, from within, reproved us, 

Say rather, "'twas the spirit moved uu" 

Though what they utter' d I repress, 

Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess ; 

For as on thee my memory ponders, 

Perchance to me thine also wanders. 

This for myself, at least, I'll say, 

Thy form appears through night, through <{*£■ \ 

Awake, with it my fancy teems ; 

In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams : 

The vision charms the hours away, 

And bids me curse Aurora's ray, 

For breaking slumbers of delight, 

Which make me wish for endless night. 

Since, oh ! whate'er my future fate, 

Shall joy or woe my steps await, 

Tempted by love, by storms beset, 

Thine image I can ne'er forget. 

Alas ! again no more we meet, 

No more our former looks repeat ; 

Then let me breathe this parting prayer, 

The dictate of my bosom's care : 

" May heaven so guard my loveiy Quaker, 

That anguish never can o'ertake her ; 

That peace and virtue ne'er forsake ber, 

But bliss be aye her heart's partaker I 

Oh ! may the happy mortal, fated 

To be, by dearest ties, related, 



m i umu i *mi.-~ 



■&* 



50 B YRON 'S POEMS. 

For her each hour new ioys discover, 
And lose the husband in tne lover ! 
Way that fair bosom never know 
What 'tis to feel the restless woe, 
Which stings the soul with vain regr^X 
Of him who never can forget ! " 



THE CORNELIAN. 

No specious bplendour of this stone 
Endears it to my memory ever ; 

With lustre only once it shone, 
And blushes modest as the giver. 

Some, who can sneer at friendship's ties, 
Have, for my weakness, oft reproved ruf 

Vet still the simple gift I prize, — 
For I am sure the giver loved me. 

He offer'd it with downcast look, 
As fearful that I might refuse it ; 

7 told him when the gift I took, 
My only fear should be to lose it. 

This pledge attentively I view'd, 

And sparkling as I hold it near, 
Wethought one drop the stone bedewed, 

A.nd ever since I've loved a tear 

Still, to adorn his humble youth, 

Nor wealth nor birth their treasures yieVd ; 
B':t he who seeks the flowers ol truth, 

Must quit the garden for the field. 

'Tis not the plant uprear'd in sloth, 
Which beauty shows, and sheds perfumo ; 

The flowers which yield the most of both 
In Nature's wild luxuriance bloom. 

Had Fortune aided Nature's care, 

For once forgetting to be blind, 
His would have been an ample share, 

If well proportion'd to his mind. 

But had tiie goddess clearly seen, 
His form uad fix'd her fickle breast : 

Her countless hoards would his have been, 
And none remain 'd to give thee rest. 



AN OCCASIONAL PROLOGUB, 

DiXIVlSSED PRFYTOUS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF " TU= \THETiC 
OF FORTUNE" AT A PRIVATE THEATRE. 

Since the refinement of this polish'd age 
Has swept immoral raillery from the stage; 



^ , ^ 



<v 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 51 

Sinco ta*te has now expunged licentious wit, 

Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ ; 

Since now to please with purer scenes we seok, 

Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek, 

Oh ! let the modest Muse some pity claim, 

And meet indulgence, though she find not farua. 

Still, not for her alone we wish respect. 

Others appear more conscious of defect : 

To-night no veteran Roscii you behold, 

In all the arts of scenic action old ; 

No Cooke, no Kemble, can salute you here, 

No Siddons draw the sympathetic tear ; 

To-night you throng to witness the debut 

Of embryo actors to the Drama new : 

Here, then, our almost unfledged wings we try ; 

Clip not our pinions ere the birds can fly : 

Failing in this our first attempt to soar, 

Drooping, alas ! we fall to rise no more, 

Not one poor trembler only fear betrays, 

Who hopes, yet almost dreads, to meet your prm&e ; 

But all our dramatis persons wait 

In fond suspense this crisis of their fate. 

No venal views our progress can rotard, 

Your generous plaudits are our sole reward : 

For these, each Hero all his power displays, 

Each timid Heroine shrinks before your gaze. 

Surely the last will some protection find ; — 

None to the softer sex can prove unkind : 

While Youth and Beauty form the female shield, 

The sternest censor to the fair must yield. 

Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail, 

Should, after all, our best endeavours fail, 

Still let some mercy in your bosoms live, 

And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive. 



ON THE DEATH OF MR. FOX. 

JHE FOLLOWING ILLIBERAL IMPROMPTU APPEAREI" IN A 
MORNING PAPER. 

" Our nation's foes lament on Fox's death, 
But bless the hour when Pitt resign 'd his breatb : 
These feelings wide, let sense and truth undue, 
We give the palm where Justice points its due." 

TO WHICH THE AUTHOR OF THESE PIECES SENT THS 
FOLLOWING REPLY. 

OH factious viper ! whose envenom'd tooth 
Would mangle still the dead, perverting truth ; 
What though our "nation's foes" lament the fate^ 
With generous feeling of the good and great, 
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name 
Of him whose meed exists in endless fame ? 
E 2 



<>■ 



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52 B\ RON'S POEMS. 

When Pitt expired in plenitude of power, 

1 hough ill success obscured his dying houv. 

J*»ty her dewy wings before him spread, 

For noble spirits " war not with the dead : ** 

His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem gave, 

As «U1 his errors slumber'd in the grave ; 

Re sunk, an Atlas bending 'neath the weicrht 

Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state ; 

When, lo ! a Hercules in Fox appear'd, 

Who for a time the ruin'd fabric rear'd : 

He, too. is fall'n, who Britain's loss supplied, 

With him our fast-reviving hopes have died j 

Not one great people only raise his urn, 

All Europe's far-extended regions mourn. 

"These feelings wide, let sense and truth undue, 

To give the palm where Justice points its due ;" 

Yet let not canker'd Calumny assail, 

Or round our statesman wind her gloomy veil. 

Fox ! o'er whose corse a mourning world must wt*;,», 

Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep ; 

For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan, 

While friends and foes alike his talents own ; 

Fox shall in Britain's future annals shine, 

Nor e'en to Pitt the patriot's palm resign ; 

"Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask 

For Pitt, and Pitt alone, has dared to ask. 



THE TEAR. 

O laclirrmjvnim ("on*, t«nero sacro* 
Dni-.iitiinn ortus ex aiiimo ; quat«r 
Felix ! in imo <iui s<»t<?nt*ui 
Pectore te, pia Nympha, senaii." — &ray. 



When Friendship or Love our sympathies move, 

When Truth in a glance should appear, 
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile, 

But the te*t of affection 's a Tear. 

Too oft ie a smile but the hypocrite's wile, 

To mask detestation or fear ; 
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul -telling oye 

Is dimm'd for a time with a Tear. 

Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below, 

Shows the soul from barbarity clear ; 
Compassion will melt where this virtue is felt, 

And its dew is diffused in a Tear. 

The man doom'd to sail with the blast of the galo, 

Through billows Atlantic to steer, 
A* he bends o'er the wave which may soon be his gUAtV 

The flp*een sparkles bright with a Tear. 

■ 
♦^ "" — K^ 4 



-&♦ 



//OCA'S 0/ //)L/:x/-:ss. 53 



The soldier braves death for a fanciful wreath 

In Glory's romantic career: 
But he raisos the foe when in battle laid low, 
And bathes every wound with a Tear. 

If with high-bounding pride he return to his bride, 

Renouncing the goro-crimson'd spear, 
All his toils are repaid when, embracing the maid, 

From her eyelid he kisses the Tear. 

Sweet scene of my youth ! seat of Friendship and Truth,' 
Where love chased each fast-fleeting year, 

Loath to leave thee, I mouru'd, for a last look 1 turn'd, 
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear. 

Though my vows I can pour to my Mary no more, 

My Mary to love once so dear ; 
In the shade of her bower I remember the hour 

She rewarded those vows with a Tear. 

By another possess'd, may she live evor blest ! 

Her name still my heart must revere : 
With a sigh I resign what I once thought was mine, 

And forgive her deceit with a Tear. 

Ye friends of my heart, ere from you I depart, 

This hope to my breast is most near : 
If again we shall meet in this rural retreat, 

May we meet, as we part, with a Tear. 

When my soul wings her flight to the region*, f night, 

And my corse shall recline on its bier, 
As ye pass by the tomb where my ashes consume, 

Oh ! moisten their dust with a Tear. 

May no marble bestow the splendour of woe, 

Which the children of vanity rear ; 
No fiction of fame shall blazon my name ; 

All I ask — all I wish — is a Tear. 

Oc'ob«r26th, lSuft. 



REPLY TO SOME VERSES 

Ob 1 J. M. B. PIGOT, ESQ., ON THE CRUELTY OF HI8 MISTBLES* 

Why, Pigot, complain of this damsel's disdain, 

Why thus in despair do you fret ? 
For months you may try, yet, believe me, a sigh 

Will never obtain a coquette. 

Would you teach her to love ? for a time seoia. to rove J 

At first she may frown in a pet ; 
But leave her awhile, she shortly will smile, 

And then yeu may kiss your coquette. 



< J - 



■4- 



^ 

54 BYRON'S POEMS, 

For such are the airs of these fanciful fairs, 

They think all our homage a debt : 
Yet a partial neglect soon takes an effect, 

And humbles the proudest coquette. 

Dissemble your pain, and lengthen your chain. 

And seem her hauteur to regret ; 
If again you shall sigh, she no more will deny 

That yours is the rosy coquette. 

If still, from &ilse pride, your pangs she deride, 

This whimsical virgin forget; 
benie other admire, who will melt with your fire, 

And laugh at the little coquette. 

For me, I adore some twenty or more, 

And love them most dearly ; but yet, 
Though my heart they enthral, I'd abandon them all, 

Did they act like your blooming coquette. 

No longer repine, adopt this design, 

And break through her slight-woven net ; 
Away with dospair, no longer forbear 

To fly from the captious coquette. 

Then quit her, my friend ! your bosom defend, 

Ere quite with her snares you're beset : 
Lest your deep-wounded heart, when incensed by the swart* 

Should lead you to curs>e the coquette. 

October rtt, 1UUC. 



TO TflE SIGHING STREPHON. 

Your pardon, my friend, if my rhymes did offend, 

Your pardon, a thousand times o'er : 
From friendship, I strove your pangs to remove, 

But I swear I will do so no more. 

Since your beautiful maid your flame has repaid, 

No more I your folly regret ; 
She's now most divine, and I bow at the snrine 

Of this quickly reformed coquette. 

Yet still, I must own, I should never have known 

From your verses, what eise she deserved ; 
Your pain seem'd so great, I pitied your fate, 

As your fair was so devilish reserved. 

Since the balm-breathing kiss of this magical misg 

Can such wonderful transports produce ; 
^:nce the " world you forget, when your lips once have met/ 

My counsel will get but abuse. 

You say, when "I rove, I know nothing of love ;** 

'Tis true, I am given to range : 
tf I rightly remember, Eve loved a good number, 

Yet there's pleasure, at least, in a change. 







i 



* 



HOURS 01' IDLENESS. 55 

I will not advance, by the rules of romance, 

To humour a whimsical fair ; 
Though a smile may delight, yet a frown won't affright, 

Or drive me to dreadful despair. 

While my blood is thus warm, I ne'er shfll refonu, 

To mix in the Platonists' school ; 
Of this I am sure, was my passion so pure, 

Thy mistress would think me a fool. 

And if I should shun every woman for one 

Whose image must till my whole breast 
Whom I must prefer, and sigh but for her— 

What an insult 'twould be to the rest ! 

Now, Strephon, good bye ; I cannot deny 

Your passion appears most absurd ! 
Such love as you plead is pure love iudeec, 

For it only consists in the word. 



TO ELIZA. 

Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect, 

Who to women deny the soul's future existence ; 

Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect, 
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistanocx 

Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense, 
He ne'er would have women from paradise driven ; 

Instead of his houris, a flimsy preteuce, 
With women alone he had peopled his heaven. 

Yet still, to increase your calamities more, 

Not content with depriving your bodies of spirit, 

He allots one poor husband to share amongst four ! — 
With souls you'd dispense ; but this last who could bear It ? 

His religion to please neither party is made ; 

On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil ; 
Still I can't contradict, what so oft has been said, 

" Though women are angels, yet wodloek 's the devil." 



LACHIN Y GALR.» 

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses 1 

In you let the minions of luxury rove ; 
Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake roposes, 

Though still they are sacred to freedom and love : 

• Laehvn y &air, or, as it Is pronounced In the Erse, Loch na Oarr, towers proudly 
pre-eminent In the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourist* 
mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it ia 
certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our " Caledonian Alps." ltd 
appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat oi eterual snows. Near Lauhin y 
Gair I speut some of the early part ol m> life, the ssoollection of which has giveu birth to 
Utaae ataoiEf. 



•*&♦ 



4 



K-B-e 



56 BYRON'S POEAiS. 

Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains, 
Round their white summits though elements war ; 

Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fount&hkS, 
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr. 

Ah ! there my young footsteps in infancy wandei d ; 

My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;* 
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd, 

As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade. 
I nought not my home till the day's dying glory 

Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star ; 
For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story, 

Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr. 

" Shades of the dead ! have I not heard your voicec 

Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale ?" 
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices, 

And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale. 
Round Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers, 

Winter presides in his cold icy car . 
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers ; 

They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr. 

"Ill-starr'd, though brave, did no visions foreboding^" 

Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?" 
Ah ! were you destined to die at Culloden,^: 

Victory crown'd not your fall with applause : 
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber, 

You rest with your clan in the caves of 13 raemar ;§ 
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number, 

Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr. 

Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you, 

Years must elapse ere I tread you again ; 
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you. 

Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain. 
England ! thy beauties are tame and domestic 

To one who has roved o'er the mountains afarf 
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic ! 

The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na U&rr. 



TO ROMANCE. 

Parent of golden dreams, Romance ! 

Auspicious queen of childish joy*, 
Who lead'st along, in airy dance, 

Thy votive train of girls and boys ; 

* Thto word ts erroneously pronounced plad : the proper pronunciation (aMoodin[?^f 
thejjootch) is ahjwn by the orthography. 

I allude here to my maternal ancestors, " the Gordon*," many of whom fought for 
the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. Tkia 
branch was zmrly allied by blood, as weil as attachment, to the Stuarts. George, the 
Becond Earl of HuntJev, married the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James th« 
First ol Scotland. By her ho loft four sons : the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the 
honour to claim as one of my progenitors. 

J Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden, I am not certain ; bnt, as many fell 
lii the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, ' pnrg pro to to." 

H A tract of tb« Highlands so ceiled. There is alsv a CaeUe ol Bra«nk*r. 



♦*♦ 



+4"' 



HOURS OF IDLENESS, 57 

At length, in spells no longer bound, 

] break the ."otters of my youth ; 
No more 1 tread thy mystic round, 

But leave thy realms for those of Trutk, 
And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams 

Which haunt the unsuspicious soul, 
Where every nymph a goddess seems, 

Whose eyes through rays iir mortal roll ; 
While Fancy holds her boundless reign, 

And all assume a varied hue ; 
When virgins seem no longer vain, 

And even woman's smiles are true. 
And must we own thee but a name, 

And from thy hall of clouds descend ? 
Nor find a sylph in every dame, 

A Pylades* in every friend ? 
But leave at once thy realms of air 

To mingling bands of fairy elves ; 
Confess that woman 's false as fair, 

And friends have feeling for — themselvoc f 

With shame I own I've felt thy sway 

Repentant, now thy reign is o'er : 
No more thy precepts I obey, 

No more on fancied pinions soar. 
Fond fool ! to love a sparkling eye, 

And think that eye to truth was de&r ; 
To trust a passing wanton's sigh, 

And melt beneath a wanton's tear ! 

Romance ! disgusted with deceit, 

Far from thy motley court I fly, 
Where Affectation holds her seat, 

And sickly Sensibility ; 
Whose silly tears can never flow 

For any pangs excepting thine ; 
Who turns aside from real woe, 

To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine. 

Now join with sable Sympathy, 

With cypress crown' d, array'd in weeds, 
Who heaves with thee her simple sigh, 

Whose breast for every bosom bleeds ; 
And call thy sylvan female choir, 

To mourn a swain for ever gone, 
Who once could glow with equal fire, 

But bends not now before thy throne, 
f e genial nymphs, whose ready tears, 

On all occasions swiftly flow ; 
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears, 

With fancied flames and phrensy glow ; 

• It Is t&rdly necessary to add, that Pylades was the companion of Orecte*. and a 
partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Achilles and Patroclus, Nitus 
aac" Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to posterity as remarkable 
Instances of attachments, which in all probability never existed beyond the imagination 
af the poet, or the page of an historian, or modern novelist. 




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58 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Say, will you mourn my absent nam«^ 

Apostate from your gencle train f 
An infant bard at least may claim 

From you a sympathetic strain- 
Adieu, fond race ! a long adieu ! 

The hour of fate is hovering nich ; 
E'en now the gulf appear* in view, 

Where unlamented you must lie : 
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen, 

Convulsed by gales you cannot weather ; 
Where you, and eUe your gentle queen, 

Alas I must perish altogether. 



ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT VERSES, 

r one or 



SMNT BY A FRIEND TO THE AUTHOR, COMPLAINING THAT ONE O 
flIS DESCRIPTIONS WAS RATHER TOO WARMLY DRAWN. 



" But If any old lady, knight, priest, or physician. 
Should condemn me for printing a second edition ; 
If good Madame Squintum my work should abuse. 
May 1 venture to give her a smack of my muse T" — Sew Bath Onid*. 

Candour compels me, Becher ! to commend 
The verse which blends the censor with the friend. 
Your strong yet just reproof extorts applause 
From me, the heedless and imprudent cause. 
For this wild error which pervades my strain, 
1 sue for pardon, — must I sue in vain ? 
The wise sometimes from Wisdom's ways depart : 
Can youth then hush the dictates of the heart ? 
Precepts of prudence curb, but can't control, 
The fierce emotions of the flowing soul. 
When Love's delirium haunts the glowing mind, 
Limping Decorum lingers far behind : 
Vainly the dotard mends her prudish pace, 
Outstripp'd and vanquish'd in the mental chase. 
The young, the old, have worn the chains of lovo : 
Let those they ne'er confined my lay reprove : 
Let those whose souls contemn the pleasing power, 
Their censures on the hapless victim shower. 

Oh ! how I hate the nerveless, frigid song, 
The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng, 
Whose labour'd lines in chilling numbers flow, 
To paint a pang the author ne'er can know ! 
The artless Helicon I boast is youth ; — 
My lyre, the heart ; my muse, the simple truth. 
Far be't from me the "virgin's mind" to " taint ;* 
Seduction's dread is here no slight restraint. 
The maid whose virgin breast is void of guile, 
Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile, 
Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer, 
Firm in her virtue s strength, yet not sever* — 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 59 

bhe whom a conscious grace shall thus refine, 

Will ue'er be " tainted" by a strain of mine. 

But for the nymph whose premature desires 

Torment her bosom with unholy tires, 

No net to snare her willing heart is spread ; 

She would have fallen, though she ne'er had road. 

For me, I fain would please the chosen few, 

Whose souls, to feeling and to nature true, 

Will spare the childish verse, and not destroy 

The light effusions of a heedless boy. 

I seek not glory from the senseless crowd ; 

Of fancied laurels I shall ne'er be proud ; 

Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize, 

Their sneers or censures I alike despise. 

Novembei Ifc5th, 1QGC 



ELEGY ON NEWSTEAD ABBEY.* 

• It U the voice of years that are gone 1 they roll beiore uie wi'-o aIi their deedi."'— 

ftairtw. 
Newstead ! fast-falling, once resplendent dome ! 

Religion's shrine ! repentant Henry's pride ! + 
Of warriors, monks, and dames the cloister'd tomb, 

Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide. 

Hail to thy pile ! more honour'd in thy fall, 
Than modern mansions in their pillar'd state ; 

Proudly majestic frowns thy vaulted halL 
Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate. 

No mail-clad serfs, X obedient to their lord, 
In grim array the crimson cross demand ;§ 

Or gay assemble round the festive board 
Their chief's retainers, an immortal band : 

Else might inspiring Fancy's magic eye 
Retrace their progress through the lapse of time, 

Marking each ardent youth, ordain' d to die, 
A votive pilgrim in Judea's clime. 

But not from thee, dark pile ! departs the chief; 

His feudal realm in other regions lay ; 
. In thee the wounded conscience courts relief, 
Retiring from the garish blaze of day. 

Yes ! in thy gloomy cells and shao"os profound, 
The monk abjured a world he ne'er could view ; 

Or blood-stain'd guilt repenting solace found, 
Or innocence from stern oppression flew. 

* Ab one poem on this subject 1b already printed, the author had, originally, no ictot* 
tion of inserting this piece. It is now added at the particular request of some friends. 

t Benry II. founded Newstead soon after the murder ol Thomas & Becket. 
J This word is used by Walter Scott, in his pueni, " The Wild Huntsman f syaony 
items with vassal. 
§ The red cross was the hod^e of the crusaden 



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60 BYRON'S POEMS. 

A monarch bade thee from that wild anse, 

Where Sherwood's outlaws once were wont to prowl J 

And Superstition's crimes, of various dyes, 
Sought shelter in the priest's protecting cowl. 

Where now the grass exhales a murky dew, 

The humid pall of life-extinguish' d clay, 
In sainted fame the sacred fathers grew, 

Nor raised their pious voices but to pray. 

Where now the bats their wavering wings extend, 
Soon as the gloaming* spreads her waning shadt^ 

The choir did oft their mingling vespers blend, 
Or matin orisons to Mary paid.f 

Years roll on years ; to ages, ages yield ; 

Abbots to abbots, in a line, succeed ; 
Religion's charter their protecting shield, 

Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed. 

One holy Henry rear'd the Gothic walls, 
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace ; 

Another Henry the kind gift recalls, X 
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease. 

Vain is each threat or supplicating prayer ; 

He drives them exiles from their blest abode, 
To roam a dreary world in deep despair — 

No friend, no home, no refuge but their Goc. 

Hark how the hall, resounding to the strain, 
Shakes with the martial music's novel din ! 

The heralds of a warrior's haughty reign, 
High-crested banners wave thy walls within. 

Of changing sentinels the distant hum, 

The mirth of feasts, the clang ot burnish* d arms, 

The braying trumpet and the hoarser drum, 
Unite in concert with increased alarms. 

An abbey once, a regal fortress now, 

Encircled by insulting rebel powers, 
War's dread machines o'erhang thy threatening brow, 

And dart destruction in sulphureous showers. 

Ah, vain defence ! the hostile traitor's siege, 
Though oft repulsed, by guile o'ercomes the brave ; 

His thronging foes oppress the faithful liege, 
Rebellion's reeking standards o'er him wave. 

Not unavenged the raging baron yields ; 

The blood of traitors smears the purple plain ; 
Unconquer'd still, his falchion there he wields, 

And days of glory yet for him remain. 

• As " gloaming," the Scottish word for twilight, is far more poetical, and cm tK«* 
recommended by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr. Moore in l.u Letter) 
to Burns, I have ventured to use it on account of its harmony. 

* The priory was dedicated to the Virgin. 

I At the iissolution of the mouaiiteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Ne*ste*d Abbey ol- SLc 
iohu Byron, 



H"H*- 



4 



4- 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 61 

Btill in Uiat hour the warrior wish'd to strew 
Self- gather' d laure>.« on a self-sought grave ; 

But Charles' protecting genius hither new, 

The monarch's friend, the monarch's hope, to save. 

Trembling, she snatch'd him from the unequal strife," 

In other fields the torrent to repel ; 
For nobler combats, here, reserved his life, 

To lead the band where godlike Falkland fell. "^ 

From thee, poor pile ! to lawless plunder given, 
While dying groans their painful requiem sounds 

Far different incense now ascends to heaven, 
Such victims wallow on the gory ground. 

There many a pale and ruthless robber's corse, 
Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod ; 

O'er mingling man, and horse commix'd with horse, 
Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers trod. 

Grave's, long with rank and sighing weeds o'erspreao 
Ransack'd, resign perforce their mortal mould ; 

From ruffian fangs escape not e'en the dead, 
Raked from repose in search for buried gold. 

Hush'd is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre, 
The minsti-el's palsied hand reclines in death ; 

No more he strikes the quivering chords with fire, 
Or sings the glories of the martial wreath. 

At length the sated murderers, gorged with prey 

Retire ; the clamour of the fight is o'er ; 
Silence agrin resumes her awful sway, 

And sable Horror guards the massy door. 

Here desolation holds her dreary court : 

What satellites declare her dismal reign ! 
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omen'd birds resort, 

To flit their vigils in the hoary fane. 

Soon a new morn's restoring beams dispel 
The clouds of anarchy from Britain's skies ; 

The fierce usurper seeks his native hell, 
And Nature triumphs as the tyrant dies. 

With storms she welcomes his expiring groans ; 

Whirlwinds, responsive, greet his labouring breath ; 
Earth shudders as her caves receive his bones, 

Loathing the offering of so dark a death. % 

• Ioixl Byron, and his brother Sir William, held high commands in the roy&l army. 
The former was general in chief in Ireland, lieutenant of the Tower, and governor tfi 
James, Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II. ; the latter had a prineip&l 
ihare in many actions. 

t Lucius Cary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, wee 
killed at the battle of Newbury, eharging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment of 
cavalry. 

\ This Is an historical fact. A violent tempest occurred immediately subsequent to the 
death or interment of Cromwell, which occa^.oned many disputes between his partisans 
and the cavaliers : both interpreted the circumstance into divine interposition ; but 
whether as approbation or condemnation, we leave for the casuists of that age to deoid* 
I Usri? soade euch use of the occurrence as tinted the subject of my peera. 



■e* 



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62 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The legal ruler dow resumes the helm,* 

He guides through gentle seas the prow of state 5 

Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, the peaceful ret»lra. 
And heals the bleeding wounds of weaned hate. 

The gloomy tenants, Newstead ! of thy cells, 

Howling, resign their violated nest ; 
Again the master on his tenure dwells, 

Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptured seet. 

Vassals, within thy hospitable pale, 

Loudly carousing, bless their lord's return ; 

Culture again adorns the gladdening vale, 

And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn. 

A thousand songs on tuneful echo float, 
Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees : 

And hark ! the horns proclaim a mellow note, 

The hunter's cry hangs lengthening on the breeto. 

Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake : 
What fears, what anxious hopes, attend the chase ! 

The dying stag seeks refuge in the Lake ; 
Exulting shouts announce the finish'd raoe. 

Ah, happy days ! too happy to endure ! 

Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew : 
No splendid vices glitter'd to allure ; 

Their joys were many, as their cares were few. 

From tbese descending, sons to sires succeed ; 

Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart ; 
Another chief impels the foaming steed, 

Another crowd pursue the panting hart. 

Newstead ! what saddening change of scene is thiuo ! 

Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay ! 
The last and youngest of a noble line 

Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway. 

Deserted now, he scans thy gray worn towers ! 

Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep ; 
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers : 

These, these he views, and viewy them but to" weep, 

Yet are his tears no emblem of regret : 
Cherish'd affection only bids them flow. 

Prvie, hope, and love forbid him to forget, 
But warm his bosom with impassion' d glow. 

ITet he prefers thee to the gilded domes 
Or gewgaw grottos of the vainly great : 

Yet lingers, 'mid thy damp and mossy tombs. 
Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of fate 

Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine, 

Thee to irradiate with meridian ray ; 
Hours splendid as the past may still be thrae, 

And bless thy future as thy former day. 

Charles II 






* 



HOURS OF ID LEX ESS. 



63 



CIin.PTSH RECOLLECTIONS. 

•• I cannot nut remember such things were, 
UiJ were most dear to me." 

When slow disease, with all her host of pains, 
Chills the warm tide which flows along the vein*. , 
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing, 
And flies with every changing gale of .spring; 
Not to the aching frame alone confined, 
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind : 
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe, 
Bid shuddoring Nature shrink beneath the blow, 
With Resignation wage relentless strife, 
While Hope retires appall'd, and clings to life. 
Yet less the pang, when, through the tedious hour, 
Remembrance sheds around her genial power, 
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given, 
When love was bliss, and beauty form'd our heaven ; 
Or, dear to youth, portrays each childish scene, 
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been. 
\s when through clouds that pour the summer stoin\ 
The orb of day unveils his distant form, 
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dew9 of rain, 
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain ; 
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams, 
The sun of memory, glowing through my dreamo, 
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze, 
To scenes far distant points his paler rays : 
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway, 
The past confounding with the present day. 

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought, 
Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought ; 
My soul to fancy's fond suggestion yields, 
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields : 
Scenes of my youth, developed, crowd to view, 
To which I long have bade a last adieu ! 
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes ; 
Friends lost to me for aye, except in dreams ; 
Some who in marble prematurely sleep, 
Whose forms I now remember but to weep ; 
Some who yet urge the same scholastic coursu 
Of early science, future fame the source ; 
Who, still contending in the studious race. 
In quick rotation fill the senior place , 
These with a thousand visions now unite, 
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight. 
Ida ! blest spot, where Science holds her reign, 
How joyous once I join'd thy youthful train 1 
Bright in idea gleams thy lofty spire, 
Again I mingle with thy playful quire ; 
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game, 
Unchanged by time or distance, ^eem the sasn 



<^ ^ 

64 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Througn winding paths along the glade, I trace 

The social smile of every welcome face ; 

My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy and wo*j, 

Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe, 

Our feuds dissolved, but not my friendship past :— 

I bless the former and forgive the last. 

Hours of my youth ! when, nurtured in my breaiit^ 

To love a stranger, friendship made me blest ; — 

Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth, 

When every artless bosom throbs with truth ; 

Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign, 

And check each impulse with prudential rein ; 

When all we feel, our honest souls disclose — 

In love to friends, in open hate to foes ; 

No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat, 

No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit. 

Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years, 

Matured by age, the garb of prudence wears. 

When now the boy is ripen'd into man, 

His careful sire chalks forth some wary plan ; 

Instructs his son from candour's path to shrink, 

Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think ; 

Still to assent, and never to deny — 

A patron's praise can well reward the lie : 

And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard, 

Would lose his opening prospects for a word ? 

Although against that word his heart rebel, 

And truth indignant all his bosom swell. 

Away with themes like this ! not mine the task 
From flattering fiends to tear4,he hateful mask ; 
Let keener bards delight in satire's sting ; 
My fancy soars not on Detraction's wing : 
Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow, 
To hurl defiafnco on a secret foe ; 
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame, 
The cause unknown, 3 T et still to me the same, 
Warn'd by ?ome friendly hint, perchance, retired, 
With this submission all her rage expired. 
From dreaded pangs that feeble foe to save, 
She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave ; 
Or, if my muse a pedant's portrait drew, 
Pomposus' virtues are but known to few ; 
I never fear'd the young usurper's nod, 
And he who wields must sometimes feel the rod. 
If since on Granta's failings, known to all 
Who share the converse of a college hall, 
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain, 
Tis past, and thus she will not sin again. 
Soon must her early song for ever cease, 
And all may rail when I shall rest tn peaea. 

Here first remember'd be the joyous band. 
Who hail'd me chief, obedient to command ; 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 65 

Who ioin'd with me in every boyish sport — 

Their first adviser, and their last resort ; 

Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant's froMiu 

O* all the sable glories of his gown ; 

Who, thus transported from his lather's school — 

Unfit to govern, i^^orant °f rule— 

Bucceeded him, whom all unite to praise, 

The dear preceptor of my early days ; 

Probus, the pride of science, and the bot*st,* 

To Ida now, alas ! for ever lost. 

With him, for years, we search'd the classio pago, 

And fear'd the master, though we loved the sa^o : 

Ketired at Lost, his small yet peacefid seat, 

From learning's labour is the blest retreat. 

Pomposus fills his magisterial chair ; 

Pomposus governs, — but, my muse, forbear: 

Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot ; 

His name and precepts bo alike forgot ! 

No more his mention shall my verse degrade, — 

To him my tribute is already paid. 

High, through those elms, with hoary branchos crouTi'd, 
Fair Ida's bower adorns the landscape round ; 
There Science, from her favour'd seat, surveys 
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise ; 
To her awhile resigns her youthful train, 
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain ; 
In scatter'd groups, each favour'd haunt pursue j 
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new ; 
Flush'd with his rays, beneath the noontide sun*, 
In rival bands, between the wickets run, 
Drive o'er the sward the ball with active force, 
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course. 
But these with slower steps direct their way, 
Where Brent's cool waves in limpid currents stray ; 
Wliile yonder few search out some green retreat, 
And arbours shade them from the summer heat : 
Others again, a pert and lively crew, 
Some rough and thoughtless stranger placed in view, 
With frolic quaint their antic j ests expose, 
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes ; 
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray 
Tradition treasures tUr a future day : 
'"Twas here the gather\5 swains for vengeance fought, 
And here we earn'd the cooquest dearly bought ; 
Here have we fled before su^rior might, 
A.nd here renew' d the wild tumultuous fight." 

• I\r. Drury. This most able and excellent nwu retired from his situation In March. 
IUUG, after having resided thirty -five years at Ha."row ; the last twenty as head -masters 
nc office he held with equal honour to himself and advantage to the very extensive school 
«jver which he presided. Panegyric would hero be iupernuoua : it would be useless f*i 
•numerate qualifications which were never doubted. A considerable contest tookrifijfc 
b^veeu three rival candidates for his vacant chair : of this I can only »y, 

Si mea cum vestria valuissent vota, Pelassri J 

Non foret ambiguos tanti certaminis faserea. 



*w 



66 BYRON'S POEMS. 

While thus our souls with early passions swell, 
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell : 
Th' allotted hour of daily sport is o'er, 
And Learning beckons from her temple's door. 
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall, 
But ruder records fill the dusky wall ; 
There, deeply carved, behold ! each tyro's name 
Secures its owner's academic fame ; 
Here mingling view the names of sire and eol., 
The one long graved, the other just begun : 
These shall survive alike when son and siro 
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire : 
Perhaps their last memorial these alone, 
Denied in death a monumental stone, 
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave 
The sighing weeds that hide their nameless grave 
And here my name, and many an early friend's, 
Along the wall in lengthen'd line extends. 
Though still our deeds amuse the youthful race, 
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place, 
Who young obey'd their lords in silent awe, 
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law ^ 
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power, 
To rule, the little tyrants of an hour ; — 
Though sometimes, with the tales of ancient day, 
They pass the dreary winter's eve away — 
"And thus our former rulers stemm'd the tide, 
And thus they dealt the combat side by side ; 
Just in this place the mouldering walls they scaled. 
Nor bolts nor bars against their strength avail'd ; 
Here Probus came, the rising fray to quell, 
And here he talter'd forth his last farewell ; 
A.nd here one night abroad they dared to roam, 
While bold Pomposus bravely stay'd at home ;" — 
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive, 
When names of these, like ours, alone survive : 
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm 
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm. 

Dear honest race ! though now we meet no more^ 
One last long look on what we were before — 
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu — 
Drew tears from eyes unused to weep with you. 
Through splendid circles, fashion's gaudy world, 
Whore folly's glaring standard waves unfurl'd, 
t plunged to drown in noise my fond regret, 
A.nd all I sought or hoped was to forget. 
Vain wish ! if chance some well-reraember'd fsioCj 
Borne old companion of my early race, 
Advanced to claim his friend with honest joy, 
My eyes, my heart, proclaim'd me still a boy ; 
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around* 
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found ; 
The smiles of beautv — (for, alas ! I've kuuwn 



^ r— — — — -+ 



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HOURS OB IDLENESS. 67 

What 'tis to bend before Love's mighty throne) — 
The smiles of beauty, though those smiles were dear, 
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near ' 
My thoughts bewilder'd in the fond surprise, 
The woods of Ida danced before my eyes ; 
I saw the sprightly wand'rers pour along, 
I saw and join d again the joyous throng ; 
Panting, again I traced her lofty grove, 
And friendship's feelings triumph'd over love. 

Yet, why should I alone with such delight. 
Retrace the circuit of my former flight ? 
Is there no cause beyond the common claim, 
Endear'd to all in childhood's very name ? 
Ah ! sure come stronger impulse vibrates here, 
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear, 
To one who thus for kindred hearts must roam, 
And seek abroad the love denied at home. 
Those hearts, dear Ida, have I found in thee — 
A home, a world, a paradise to me. 
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share 
The tender guidance of a father's care. 
Can rank, or e'en a guardian's name, supply 
The love which glistens in a father's eye ? 
For this can wealth or title's sound atone, 
Made, by a parent's early loss, my own ? 
What brother springs a brother's love to seek ? 
What sister's gentle kiss has press'd my cheek ? 
For me how dull the vacant moments rise, 
To no fond bosom link'd by kindred ties ! 
Oft in the progress of some fleeting dream 
Fraternal smiles collected round me seem ; 
While still the visions to my heart are press'd, 
The voice of love will murmur in my rest : 
I hear — I wake — and in the sound rejoice ; 
I hear again, — but ah 1 no brother's voice. 
A hermit, 'midst of crowds, I fain must stray 
4.1one, though thousand pilgrims fill the way ; 
•Vhile these a thousand kindred wreaths entvciae 
I cannot call one single blossom mine : 
What then remains ? In solitude to groan, 
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone 
Thus must I cling to some endearing hand, 
And none more dear than Ida's social band. 

Alonzo ! best and dearest of my friends, 
Thy naiiie ennobles him who thus commends : 
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praiso ', 
The praise is his who now that tribute pays. 
Oh ! in the promise of thy early youth, 
If hope anticipate the words of truth, 
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorxms narae, 
To build his own upon thy deathless fame. 
Friend &f my heart, and foremost of the li£t 
F 2 




i> 



4j 

68 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Of those with whom I lived supremely blest, 
Oft have we drain'd the font of ancient lore ; 
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more. 
Yet, when confinement's lingering hour was done^ 
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one * 
Together we impell'd the flying ball ; 
Together waited in our tutor's hall : 
Together join' d in cricket's manly toil, 
Or shared the produce of the river's spoil ; 
Or, plunging from the green declining shore, 
Our pliant limbb the buoyant billows bore ; 
In every element, unchanged, the same, 
All, all that brothers should be, but the name 

Nor yet are you forgot, my jocund boy ! 
Davus, the harbinger of childish joy ; 
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun, 
The laughing herald of the harmless pun ; 
Yet with a breast of such materials made — 
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid ; 
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel 
In danger's path, though not untaught to foel. 
Still I remember, in the factious strife, 
The rustic's musket aim'd against my life : 
High poised in air the massy weapon hung, 
A cry of horror burst from every tongue ; 
Whilst I, in combat with another foe, 
Fought on, unconscious of th' impending blow ; 
Your arm, brave boy, arrested his career — 
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear ; 
Disarm'd and baffled by your conquering hand, 
The grovelling savage roll'd upon the sand: 
An act like this, can simple thanks repay, 
Or all the labours of a grateful lay ? 
Oh no ! whene'er my breast forgets the deed, 
That instant, Davus, it deserves to bleed. 

Lycus ! on me thy claims are justly great : 
Thy milder virtues could my muse relate, 
To thee alone, unrivall'd, would belong 
The feeble efforts of my lengthen'd song. 
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit, 
A Spartan firmness with Athenian wit : 
Though yet in embryo these perfections shine, 
Lycus ! thy father's fame will soon be thine. 
Where learning nurtures the superior mind, 
What may we hope from genius thus refined ! 
When time at length matures thy growing years,, 
How wilt thou tower above thy fellow peers ! 
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free, 
With honour's soul, united beam in thee. 

Shall fair Euryalus pass by unsung, 
Vrom ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung ? 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 69 

What though one sad dissension bade us part. 

That name is yet embalm'd within my heart ; 

Yet at the mention does that heart rebound, 

And palpitate, responsive to the sound. 

Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will : 

We once were friends, — I'll think we are so stiiL 

A form unmatch'd in nature's partial mould, 

A heart untainted, we in thee behold : 

Yet not the senate's thunder thou shalt wield. 

Nor seek for glory in the tented field ; 

To minds of ruder texture these be given — 

Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven. 

Haply, in polish'd courts might be thy seat, 

But that thy tongue could never forge deceit : 

The courtier's supple bow and sneering smile, 

The flow of compliment, the slippery wile, 

Would make that breast with indignation burn, 

And all the glittering snares to tempt thee spum. 

Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate ; 

Sacred to love, unclouded e'er by hate ; 

The world admire thee, and thy friends adore ;— 

Ambition's slave alone would toil for more. 

Now last, but nearest, of the social band, 
See honest, open, generous Cleon stand ; 
With scarce one speck to cloud the pleasing soea©! 
No vice degrades that purest soul serene. 
On the same day our studious race begua, 
On the same day our studious race was run ; 
Thus side by side we pass'd our first career, 
Thus side by side we strove for many a year ; 
At last concluded our scholastic life, 
We neither oonquer'd in the classic strife : 
As speakers each supports an equal name,* 
And crowds allow to both a partial fame : 
To soothe a youthful rival's early pride, 
Though Cleon's candour would the palm divid^ 
Yet candour's self compels me now to own, 
J ustice awards it to my friend alone. 

Oh ! friends regretted, scenes for ever dear. 
Remembrance hails you with her warmest teat [ 
Drooping, she bends o'er pensive Fancy's unv, 
To trace the hours which never can return ; 
Yet with the retrospection loves to dwell, 
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell ! 
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind, 
As infant laurels round my head were twined % 
When Pi obus' praise repaid my lyric song, 
Or placed me higher in the studious throng ; 
Or when my first harangue received applause, 
His sage instruction the primeval cause, 

• This aUudes to the public speeches delivered at the school where the sntatr vk 

edtieuted. 



+& 



70 B YR ON 'S FOE MS. 

What gratitude to him my soul possess'd, 

While hope of dawning honours fill'd my breasfcl 

For all my humble fame, to him alone 

The praise is due, who made that fame my own. 

Oh ! could I soar above these feeble lays, 

These young effusions ot my early days, 

To hiui my muse her noblest strain would give : 

The song might perish, but the theme might livew 

Yet why for him the needless verse essay T 

His honour' d name requires no vain display : 

By every son of grateful Ida blest, 

It finds an echo in each youthful breast ; 

A fame beyond the glories of the proud, 

Or all the plaudits of the venal crowd. 

Ida ! not yet exhausted is the theme, 
Nor closed the progress of my youthful dream. 
How many a friend deserves the grateful strain 1 
What scenes of childhood still unsung remain ! 
Yet let me kush this echo of the past, 
This parting song, the dearest and the last ; 
And brood in secret o'er those hours of joy, 
To me a silent and a sweet employ, 
While future hope and fear alike unknown, 
I think with pleasure on the past alone ; 
Yes, to the past alone my heart confine, 
And chase the phantom of what once was mine. 

Ida ! still o'er thy hills in joy preside, 
And proudly steer through time's eventful tide ; 
Still may thy blooming sons thy name revere, 
Smile in thy bower, but quit thee with a tear ; — 
That tear, perhaps, the fondest which will flow 
O'er their last scene of happiness below. 
Tell me, ye hoary few, who glide along, 
The feeble veterans of some former throng, 
Whose friends, like autumn leaves by tempests whiri'd* 
Are swept for ever from this busy world ; 
Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth, 
While Care as yet withheld her venom'd tooth ; 
Say if remembrance days like this endears 
Beyond the rapture of succeeding years ? 
Say, can ambition's fever'd dream bestow 
So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe ? 
Can treasures, hoarded for some thankless son, 
Can royal smiles, or wreaths by slaughter woe,, 
Can stars or ermine, man's maturer toys 

iFor glittering baubles are not left to boys), 
Wcall one scene so much beloved to view 
As those where Youth her garland twined for yoa\ 
Ah, no ! amidst the gloomy calm of age 
You turn with faltering hand life's varied page ; 
Peruse the record of your days on earth, 
Unsullied only where it marks your birth ; 




<> 



-H- 



^H ^ 

HOURS OF IDLENESS. 71 

Still lingering pause above each chequor'd loaf, 
And blot with tears the sable lines of grief ; 
Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw. 
Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu ; 
But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn, 
Traced by the rosy finger of the morn ; 
When Friendship bow'd befoie the shrine of t r uth, 
And Love, without his pmion, smiled on youth * 



ANSWER TO A BEAUTIFUL POE&, 

ENTITLED "THE COMMON LOT."t 

Montgomery ! true, the common lot 

Of mortals lies in Letbe's wave ; 
Yet some shall never be forgot — 

Some shall exist beyond the grave. 

*' Unknown the region oi his birth," 
The hero rolls the tide of war ; % 
Yet not unknown his martial worth. 
Which glares a meteor from afar. 

His ioy or grief, his weal or woe, 

Perchance may 'scape the page of fame, 

Yet nations now unborn will know 
The record of his deathless name. 

The patriot's and the poet's frame 

Must share the common tomb of all : 
Their glory will not sleep the same ; 

That will arise, though empires fall. 

The lustre of a beauty's eye 

Assumes the ghastly stare of death ; 
The fair, the brave, the good must die, 

And sink the yawning grave beneath. 

Once more the speaking eye revives, 

Still beaming through the lover's strain J 

For Petrarch's Laura still survives : 
She died, but ne'er will die again. 

The rolling seasons pass away, 

And Time, untiring, waves his wing ; 

Whilst honour's laurels ne'er decay, 
But bloom in fresh, unfading spring. 

All, all must sleep in grim repose, 

Collected in the silent tomb ; 
The old and young, with friends and foes, 

Festering alike in shrouds, consume. 

o a I/amltiS est l'amour sans ailes," is a French proveTb. 

t Written by James Montgomery, author of " The Wanderer In Switzerland," &0. 

J No particular hero is here alluded to. The exploits of Bayard, Nemours, Edward th» 
EJacb Prince, and in more modern times the fame of Marlborough, Frederick the Great, 
ftuint Saxe, Charles of Sweden, &c, are familiar to every historical reader, but the exact 
placet of their birth ave known to a vary small proportion of tb«ir admirers. 




72 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The mouldering marble lasts its day, 
Yet falls at length an useless fane ; 

To ruin's ruthless fangs a prey, 

The wrecks of] tillar'd pride remain. 

What, though tho sculp ture be destroy'd, 
From dark oblivdon meant to guard ; 

L bright renown 3ball be enjoy'd 
By those whose i virtues claim reward. 

Then do not say the common lot 
Of all lies deop in Lethe's wave ; 

Some few who ne'er will be forgot 
Shall burbt the bondage of the grave. 



180b. 



LINES 

ADDRESSED TO THE REV. J. T. BECZZr., CN HIS ADVISINO TBI 
AUTHOR TO MIX MORE WITH SOCIETY. 

Dear Becher, you tell me to mix with mankind ; — 

1 cannot deny such a precept is wise ; 
But retirement accords with the tone of ray mind : 

I will not descend to a world I despise. 

Did the senate or camp my exertions require, 

Ambition might prompt me, at once, to go forth ; 

When infancy's years of probation expire, 
Perchance I may strive to distinguish my birth. 

The fire in the cavern of Etna conceal'd, 

Still mantles unseen in its secret recess ; — 
At length, in a volume terrific reveal'd, 

No torrent can quench it, no bounds can repress. 

Oh ! thus, the desire in my bosom for fame 
Bids me live but to hope for posterity's praise. 

Could I soar with the phoenix on pinions of flame, 
With him I would wish to expire in the blaze. 

For the life of a Fox, of a Chatham the death, 

What censure, what danger, what woe would I brave 1 

Their lives did not end when they yielded their brei& I 
Their glory illumines the gloom of their grave. 

Yet why should I mingle in Fashion's full herd ? 

Why crouch to her leaders, or cringe to her rules I 
Why bend to the proud, or applaud the absurd ? 

Why search for delight in the friendship of fools f 

I have tasted the sweets and the bitters of love ; 

In friendship I early was taught to believe ; 
My passion the matrons of prudence reprove ; 

I have found that a friend may profess, yet deceive. 



<r> 



■^ 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 73 

Vo me what is wealth ? — it may pass in an hour, 
If tyrants prevail, or if Fortune should frown ; 

To me what is title ? — the phantom of power ; 
T> me what is fashion ? — I seek but renowu. 

Deceit is a stranger as yet to my soul ; 

T still am unpractised to varnish the truth : 
Then why should I live in hateful control ? 

Why waste upon folly the days of my youth \ 

18% 



THE DEATH OF CALMAR AND ORLA. 

AN IMITATION OF MASPHERSON'S OSSIAN.* 

Dear are the days of youth ! Age dwells on their remembranoe 
through the mist of time. In the twilight he recalls the sunny 
hours of morn. He lifts his spear with trembling hand. " Not 
thus feebly did I raise the steel before my fathers ! " Past is the 
race of heroes ! But their fame rises on the harp ; their souls ride 
on the wings of the wind ; they hear the sound through the sighs 
of the storm, and rejoice in their hall of clouds ! Such is Calmar. 
The gray stone marks his narrow house. He looks down from 
eddying tempests : he rolls his form in the whirlwind, and hovers 
on the blast of the mountain. 

In Morven dwelt the chief ; a beam of war to Fingal. His steps 
in the field were marked in blood. Lochlin's sons had fled before 
his angry spear ; but mild was the eye of Calmar ; soft was the 
flow of his yellow locks, they streamed like the meteor of the night. 
No maid was the sigh of his soul : his thoughts were given to 
friendship, — to dark-haired Orla, destroyer of heroes ! Equal were 
tneir swords in battle ; but fierce was the pride of Orla : — gentle 
alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave of Oithona. 

From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue waves. Erin's 
sons fell beneath his might. Fingal roused his chiefs to combat. 
Their ships cover the ocean. Their hosts throng on the green 
hills. They come to the aid of Erin. 

Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies : but the 
blazing oaks gleam through the valley. The sons of Lochlin 
slept : their dreams were of blood. They lift the spear in thought, 
and Fingal flies. Not so the host of Morven. To watch was the 
post of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. Their spears were in 
their hands. Fingal called his chiefs : they stood around. The 
king was in the midst. Gray were his locks, but strong was the 
arm of the king. Age withered not his powers. " Sons of 
Morven," said the hero, " to-morrow we meet the foe. But where 
is Cuthullin, the shield of Erin ? He rests in the halls of Tura ; 
he knows not of our coming. Who will speed through Lochlin to 
the hero, and call the chief to arms ? The path is by the swords 
of foes j but many are my heroes. They are thunderbolts of war. 
Speak, ye chiefs ! Who will arise ? " 

• It may be necessary to observe, that the story, though considerably varied In the 
catastrophe, is taken frcm " Nisua and Euryalus," of which episode a translation is 
elre&dy given in the present volume. 




74 



BYRON'S POEMS. 



"Sou of Trenmor! mine be the deed," said dark-haired Orla 
" and mine alone. What is death to me ? I love the sleep of th* 
mighty ; but little is the danger. The sons of Lochlin dream. 1 
will seek car-borne Cuthullin. If I fall, raise the song of bards ; 
and lay me by the stream of Lubar." — "And shalt thou fall 
alone? ' said fair- haired Calmar. "Wilt thou leave thy friend 
afar ? Chief of Oithona ! not feeble ie my arm in fight. Could I 
Bee thee die, and not lift the spear ? No, Orla ! ours has been the 
chase of the roebuck, and the feast of shells ; ours be the path of 
danger : ours has been the cave of Qithona ; ours be the narrow 
dwelling on the banks of Lubar." "Calmar," said the chief ot 
Oithona, " why should thy yellow locks be darkened in the dust of 
Erin ? Let me fall alone. My father dwells in his hall of air : he 
will rejoice in his boy ; but the blue-eyed Mora spreads the feast 
for her son in Morven. She listens to the stops of the hunter on 
the heath, and thinks it is the ti ead of Calmar. Let him not say, 
' Calmar has fallen by the steel of Lochlin : he died with gloomy 
Orla, the chief of the dark brow.' Why should tears dim the 
azure eye of Mora? Why should her voice curse Orla, the 
destroyer of Calmar ? Live, Calmar ! Live to raise my stone of 
moss ; live to revenge me in the blood of Lochlin. Join the song 
of bards above my grave. Sweet will be the song of death to Orla, 
from the voice of Calmar. My ghost shall smile on the notes of 
praise." " Orla," said the son 01 Mora, " could I raise the song ot 
death to my friend ? Could I give his fame to the winds ? No, 
my heart would speak in sighs : faint and broken are the sounds of 
sorrow. Orla ! our souls shall hear the song tog-ether. One cloud 
shall be ours on high : the bards will mingle the names of Orla and 
Calmar." 

They quit the circle of the chiefs. Their steps are to the host of 
Lochlin. The dying blaze of oak dim twinkles through the night. 
The northern star points the path to Tura. Swaran, the king, 
rests on his lonely hill. Here the troops are mixed : they frown in 
eleep ! their shields beneath their heads. Their swords gleam at 
distance in heaps. The fires are faint ; their embers tail in smoke. 
All is hush'd ; but the gale sighs on the rocks above. Lightly 
wheel the heroes through the slumbering band. Half the journey 
is past, when Mathon, resting on his shield, meets the eye of Orla. 
It rolls in flame, and glistens through the shade. His spear is 
raised on high. " Why dost thou bend thy brow, chief of 
Oithona ? " said fair-haired Calmar : " we are in the midst ot toes. 
Is this a time for delay? " " It is a time for vengeance," said Orla 
of the gloomy brow. "Mathon of Lochlin sleeps : seest thou his 
spear ? Its point is dim with the gore of my father. The blood of 
Mathon shall reek on mine ; but shall I slay him sleeping, son of 
Mora ? No ! he shall feel his wound : my fame shall not soar on 
the blood of slumber. Rise, Mathon, rise ! The son of Conna 
calls ; thy life is his ; rise to combat." Mathon starts from sleep , 
but did he rise alone ? No : the gathering chiefs bound on tho 
plain. " Fly ! Calmar, fly ! " said dark-haired Orla. " Mathon is 
mine : I shall die in joy : but Lochlin crowds around. Fly 
through the shade of nignt." Orla turns. The helm of Mathon is 
cleft : his shield falls from his arm : he shudders in his blood. He 
rolls by the side of the blazing oak. Strumon sees him f all : hie 



■^* 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 



75 



wrath rises : his weapon glitters on the head of Orla : but a spear 
pierced his eye. His brain gushes through the wound, and foams 
on the spear of Calmar. As roll the waves of the Ocean on two 
mighty barks of the north, so pour the men of Lochlin on the 
chiefs. As, breaking the surge in foam, proudly steer the barks of 
the north, so rise the chiefs of Morven on the scattered orests of 
Lochlin. The din of arms came to the ear of Fingal. He strikes 
his shield ; his sons throng around ; the people pour along the 
heath. Ryno bounds in joy. Ossian stalks in his arms. Oscar 
shakes the spear. The eagle wing of Fillan floats on the wind. 
Dreadful is the clang of death ! many are the widows of Lochlin ! 
Morven prevails in its strength. 

Morn glimmers on the hills : no living foe is seen ; but the 
sleepers are many ; grim they lie on Erin. The breeze of ocean 
lifts their locks ; yet they do not awake. The hawks scream above 
their prey. 

Whose yellow locks wave o'er the breast of a chief % Bright as 
the gold of the stranger, they mingle with the dark hair of his 
friend. 'Tis Calmar : he lies on the bosom of Orla. Theirs is one 
stream of blood. Fierce is the look of the gloomy Orla. He 
breathes not ; but his eye is still a flame. It glares in death un- 
closed. His hand is grasped in Calmar's ; but Calmar lives ! he 
lives, though low. " Rise," said the king, " rise, son of Mora : 
'tis mine to heal the wounds of heroes. Calmar may yet bound on 
the hills of Morven." 

" Never more shall Calmar chase the deer of Morven with Orla," 
Baid the hero. "What were the chase to me alone ? Who should 
phare the spoils of battle with Calmar ? Orla is at rest ! Rough 
was thy soul, Orla ! yet soft to me as the dew of morn. It glared 
on others in lightning : to me a silver beam of night. Bear my 
sword to blue-eyed Mora ; let it hang in my empty hall. It is 
not pure from blood : but it could not save Orla. Lay me with my 
friend. Raise the song when I am dark ! " 

They are laid by the stream of Lubar. Four gray stones mark 
the dwelling of Orla and Calmar. When Swaran was bound, our 
sails rose on the blue waves. The winds gave our barks to 
Morven : — the bards raised the song. 

" What form rises on the roar of clouds ? Whose dark ghost 
gleams on the red streams of tempests ? His voice rolls on the 
thunder. 'Tie Orla, the brown chief of Oithona. He was un- 
matched in war. Peace to thy soul, Orla ; thy fame will not 
perish. Nor thine, Calmar ! Lovely wast thou, son of blue -eyed 
Mora ; but not harmless was thy sword. It hangs in thy cave. 
The ghosts of Lochlin shriek around its steel. Hear thy praise, 
Calmar ! It dwells on the voice of the mighty. Thy name shakes 
on the echoes of Merven. Then raise thy fair locks, son of Mora. 
Spread them on the arch of the rainbow ; and smile through th« 
tears of the storm."* 

i rear Laing's late edition has completely overthrown every hope that Macpherson't 
Ossian might prove the translation of a series of poems complete in themselves ; hut 
while the imposture is discovered, the merit of the work remains undisputed, though 
not without faults — particularly, in some parts, turgid and bomhastic diction. The 
present humble imitation will be pardoned by the admirers of the original as an attempt, 
however inferior, which evinces an attachment to their favourite author. 






7 6 



BYRON'S POEMS. 



TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, Esq. 

Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico.— HohacS* 

Dear Long, in this sequester'd scene, 

While all around in slumber he, 
The joyous days which ours have been 

Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye ; 
Thus if amidst the gathering storm, 
While clouds the darken'd noon defornv 
Yon heaven assumes a varied glow, 
I hail the sky's celestial bow, 
Which spreads the sign of future peace, 
And bids the war of tempests cease. 
Ah ! though the present brings but pain, 
I think those days may come again ; 
Or if, in melancholy mood, 
Some lurking envious fear intrude, 
To check my bosom's fondest thought, 

And interrupt the golden dream, 
I crush the fiend with malice fraught, 

And still indulge my wonted theme,. 
Although we ne'er again can trace, 

In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore ; 
Nor through the groves of Ida chase 

Our raptured visions as before ; 
Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion. 
And Manhood claims his stern dominion 
Aire will not every hope destroy, 
But yield some hours of sober joy. 

Yes, I will hope that Time's broad win£ 
Will shed around some dews of spring : 
But if his scythe must sweep the flowers 
Which bloom among the fairy bowers, 
Where smiling youth delights to dwellj 
And hearts with early rajiture swell ; 
If frowning Age, with cold control, 
Confines the current of the soul, 
Congeals the tear of Pity's eye, 
Or checks the sympathetic sigh, 
Or hears unmoved misfortune's groan^ 
An i bids me feel for self alone ; 
Oh, may my bosom never learn 

To soothe its wonted heedless flow K 9 
Still, still despise the censor stern, 

But ne'er forget another's woe. 
Yes, as you knew me in the days 
O'er which Remembrance yet delays* 
Still may I rove, untutor'd, wild, 
And even in age at heart a child. 

Though now on airy visions borne, 
To you nay soul is still the same. 



•$■ 









<i> 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 77 

Oft has it been my fate to mourn, 

And all my former joys are tame. 
But, hence ! ye hours of sable hue ! 

Your frowns are pone, my sorrows o'er : 
By every bliss my childhood knew, 

I'll think upon your shade no more. 
Thus, when the whirlwind's rage is post, 

And caves their sullen roar inclose, 
We heed no more the wintry blast. 

When lull'd by zephyr to repose. 

Full often has my infant Muse 

Attuned to love her languid lyre ; 
JBut now without a theme to choose, 

The strains in stolen sighs expire. 
My youthful nymphs, alas ! are flown : 

E is a wife, and C a mother, 

And Carolina sighs alone, 

And Mary 's given to another ; 
And Cora's eye, which roll'd on me, 

Can now no more my love recall : 
Cn truth, dear Long, 'twas time to flee ; 

For Cora's eye will shine on all. 
And though the sun, with genial rays, 
His beam alike to all displays, 
And every lady's eye 's a sun, 
These last should be confined to one. 
The soul's meridian don't become her, 
Whose sun displays a general summer! 
Thus faint is every former flame, 
And passion's self is now a name. 
As, when the ebbing flames are low, 

The aid which once improved their light; 
And bade them burn with fiercer glow, 

Now quenches all their sparks in night J 
Thus has it been with passion's fires, 

As many a boy and girl remembers. 
While all the force of love expires, 

Extinguish' d with the dying embers. 

But now, dear Long, 'tis midnight's noco ; 
And clouds obscure the watery moon, 
Whose beauties I shall not rehearse, 
Described in every stripling's verse ; 
For why should I the path go o'er, 
Which every bard has trod before ? 
Yet ere yon silver lamp of night 

Has thrice perform'd her stated rounds 
Has thrice retraced her path of light, 

And chased away the gloom profound, 
I trust that we, my gentle friend, 
Shall see her rolling orbit wend 
Above the dear-loved peaceful seat 
Which once contain'd our youth's retreat $ 



*T* 



—*tp1 

78 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And then with those our childhood knew, 
We'll mingle in the festive crew ; 
While many a tale of former day 
Shall wing the laughing hours away ; 
And all the flow of soul shall pour 
The sacred intellectual shower, 
Nor cease till Luna's waning horn 
Scarce glimmers through the mist of mcru» 



TO A LADY. 

Oh ! had my fate been join'd with thine, 
As once this pledge appear'd a token, 

These follies had not then been mine, 
For then my peace had not been broken. 

To thee these early faults I owe, 

To thee, the wise and old reproving : 

They know my sins, but do not know 
'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving. 

For once my soul, like thine, was pure, 
And all its rising I'res could smother ; 

But now thy vows no more endure, 
Bestow'd by thee upon another. 

Perhaps his peace I could destroy, 
And spoil the blisses that await him ; 

Yet let my rival smile in joy, — 

For thy dear sake I cannot hate him. 

Ah ! since thy angel form is gone, 
My heart no more can rest with any ; 

But what it sought in thee alone, 
Attempts, alas ! to find in many. 

Then fare thee well, deceitful maid ! 

'Twero vain and fruitless to regret thee \ 
Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid. 

But Pride may teach me to forget th*e. 

Yet all this giddy waste of years, 

This tiresome round of palling pleasure* ; 

These varied loves, these matron's fears, 

These thoughtless strains to passion's measures— 

If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd : — 

This cheek now pale from early riot, 
With passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd, 

But bloom' d in calm domestic quiet. 

Yes, once the rural scene was sweet, 
For Nature seem'd to smile before thsoi 

A.nd once my breast abhorr'd deceit, — 
For then it beat but to adore theo. 



■<> 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 79 

But now T seek for other joys : 
To think would drive my soul to madness r 

In thoughtless throngs and empty noise, 
I conquer half my bosom's sadness. 

Yet, even in these a thought will steal, 

In spite of every vain endeavour, — 
4.nd tends might pity what I feel, — 

To know that thou art lost for ever. 



I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD. 

I would I were a careless child, 

Still dwelling in my Highland cave, 
Or roaming through the dusky wild, 

Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave ; 
The cumbrous pomp of Saxon* pride 

Accords not with the freeborn soul, 
Which loves the mountain's craggy side, 

And seeks the rocks where billows roll. 

Fortune ! take back these cultured lands, 

Take back this name of splendid sound ! 
I hate the touch of servile hands, 

I hate the slaves that cringe around. 
Place me along the rocks I love, 

Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar ; 
I ask but this — again to rove 

Through scenes my youth hath known before. 

Few are my years, and yet I feel 

The world was ne'er design'd for me : 
Ah ! why do dark'ning shades conceal 

The hour when man must cease to be ? 
Once I beheld a splendid dream, 

A. visionary scene of bliss : 
Truth ! — wherefore did thy hated beam 

Awake me to a world like this ? 

I loved — but those I love are gone ; 

Had friends — my early friends are fled : 
How cheerless feels the heart alone 

When all its former hopes are dead ! 
Though gay companions o'er the bowl 

Dispel awhile the sense of ill ; 
Though pleasure stirs the maddening soisL, 

The heart — the heart — is lonely still. 

How dull ! to hear the voice of those 
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power, 

Have made, though neither friends nor foes, 
Associates of the festive hour. 

■a»**»nach, or Saxon, a Gaelic worn, signifying either Lowland or Engli&t 




♦a* 



i (D < 

80 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Give me again a faithful few, 

In years and feelings still the saCiO, 
And 1 will fly the midnight crew, 

Where boist'reus joy is but a name. 

And woman, lovely woman ! thou, 

My hope, my comforter, my all ! 
How cold must be my bosom now, 

When e'en thy smiles begin to pall I 
Without a sigh would I resign 

This busy scene of splendid woe, 
To make that calm contentment mine, 

Which virtue knows, or seems to know. 

Fain would I fly the haunts of men — 

I seek to shun, not hate mankind ; 
My breast requires the sullen glen, 

Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. 
Oh ! that to me the wings were given 

Which bear the turtle to her nest f 
Then would I cleave the vault of heaven, 

To flee away, and be at rest.* 



WHEN 1 ROVED A YOJNG HIGHLANDER, 

When I roved a young Highlander o'er the dark heafch ; 

And climb'd thy steep summit, Morven, of snow \f 
To gaze on the torrent that thunder'd beneath, 

Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below, £ 
Untutor'd by science, a stranger to tear, 

And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew, 
No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear ; 

Need I say, my sweet Mary, 'twas center' d in yowl 

Yet it could not be love, for I knew not the name, — ■ 

What passion can dwell in the heart of a child ! 
But still I perceive an emotion the same 

As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover' d wild : 
One image alone on my bosom impress'd, 

I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new ; 
And few were my wants, for my wishes were bless'd ; 

And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you. 

I arose with the dawn ; with my dog as my guide, 
From mountain to moimtain I bounded along ; 

* •* And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove ; for then would I fly avw, &c<! be nt 
rest." — Psalm lv. 6. This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem .« 
kit language. 

t Morven, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. " Gormal of ■now," is an sxprtnaiiB 
frequently to be found In Ossian. 

I This w;il not appear extraordinary to those who have been accustomed to the moun- 
tains. It is by no means uncommon, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-y-Boiml, Ac, 
to perceive, between the submit and the valley, clouds pouriner down rain, and occa- 
sionally accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down wpon tba 
sturm, perfectly secure from its etlecta. 



<^ 



■^ 



HOUKS Ob IDLENESS. 81 

I breasted the billows of Dee's rushing tide, 4 * 
And heard at a distance the Highlander's song : 

At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose, 

No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view ; 

&.nd warm to the skies my devotions arose, 
For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you. 

I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone ; 

The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more ; 
As the last of my race, I must wither alone, 

And delight but in days I have witness'd before : 
Ah ! splendour has raised, but embitter'd, my lot ; 

More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew ; 
Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not forgot » 

Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you. 

When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky, 

I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen ;+ 
When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye, 

I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude seen© ; 
When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold, 

That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue, 
I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold, 

The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you. 

Yet the day may arrive when the mountains once more 

Shall rise to my sight in their mantles of snow ; 
But while these soar above me, unchanged as befoio, 

Will Mary be there to receive me ? — ah, no ! 
Adieu, then, ye hills, where my childhood was bred I 

Thou sweet-flowing Dee, to thy waters adieu ! 
No home in the forest shall shelter my head, — 

Ah ! Mary, what home could be mine but with you ? 



TO GEORGE, EARL DELAWARR. 

Oh ! yes, I will own we were dear to each other ; 

The friendships of childhood, though fleeting, are tru& ; 
The love which you felt was the love of a brother, 

Nor less the affection I cherish'd for you. 

But friendship can vary her gentle dominion ; 

The attachment of years in a moment expires ; 
Like Love, too, she moves on a swift-waving pinion, 

But glows not, like Love, with unquenchable fires. 

Pull oft have we wander' d through Ida together, 
And blest were the scenes of our youth, I allow : 

En the spring of our life, how serene is the weather ! 
But winter's rude tempests are gathering now. 

fc * Breasting the lofty surge."— Shakspeare. The Dee is a beautiful riv*r, which rise* 
tms Mar Lodge, and fali* into the sea at New Aberdeen. 

'. Colbleen i* a mountain near the verge of the Highlaisds, not far from the ruins of 
D»* Casth. 

G 



i ^r* 



m - » 



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82 BYRON'S POEMS. 

No more with affection shall memory blending. 
The wonted delights of our childhood retrace : 

When piide steels the bosom, the heart is unbending. 
And what would be justice appears a disgrace. 

However, dear George, for I still must esteem you — 
The few whom I love I can never upbraid — 

The chance which has lost may in future redeem you, 
Repentance will cancel the vow you have made. 

I will not complain, and though chill'd is affection, 
With me no corroding resentment shall live : 

My bosom is calm'd by the simple reflection, 

That both may be wrong, and that both should forgive 

You knew that my soul, that my heart, my existence, 
If danger demanded, were wholly your own ; 

You knew me unalter'd by years or by distance, 
Devoted to love and to friendship alone. 

You knew, — but away with the vain retrospection I 
The bond of affection no longer endures ; 

Too late you may droop o'er the fond recollection, 
And sigh for the friend who was formerly youre. 

For the present, we part, — I will hope not for ever ; 

For time and regret will restore you at last : 
To forget our dissension we both should endeavour, — 

I ask no atoueniesit, but days like the past. 



TO THE EARL OF CLARE. 

" Tii semper amorti 
BU mexuor, et carl comitia ne atacedai Imafo." — Vii» r* rt_ 

Friend of my youth ! when young we roved. 
Like striplings, mutually beloved, 

With friendship's purest glow, 
The bliss which wing'd those rosy hours 
Was such as pleasure seldom showem 

On mortals here below. 

The recollection seems alone 
Dearer than all the joys I've knv^^n, 

When distant far from you : 
Though pain, 'tis still a pleasing pan), 
To trace those days and hours again, 

And sigh again, adieu ! 

My pensive memory lingers o'er 
Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more, 

Those scenes regretted ever ; 
The measure of our youth is full, 
Life's evening dream is dark and dui< 

And we may meet — ah ! never 1 



<> 



4 



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HOURS OF IDLENESS. 83 

A.S when one parent spring supplies 

Two streams which from one fountain rise, 

Together join'd in vain ; 
How soon, diverging from their source, 
Each, murmuring, seeks another course, 

Till mingled in the main ! 

Our vital streams of weal or woe, 
Though near, alas ! distinctly flow, 

Nor mingle as before : 
Now swift or slow, now black or clear, 
Till death's unfathom'd gulf appear, 

And both shall quit the shore. 

Our souls, my friend ! which once stippllM 
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside, 

Now flow in different channels : 
Disdaining humbler rural sports, 
'Tis yours to mix in polish'd courts, 

And shine in fashion's annals ; 

'Tis mine to waste on love my time. 
Or vent my reveries in rhyme, 

Without the aid of reason ; 
For sense and reason (critics know it) 
Have quitted every amorous poet, 

Nor left a thought to seize on. 

Poor Little ! sweet, melodious bard I 
Ot late esteem'd it monstrous hard, 

Tuat he, who sang before all, — 
He who the lore of love expanded,— 
By dire reviewers should be branded, 

As void of wit and moral.* 

And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine. 
Harmonious favourite of the Nine ! 

Repine not at thy lot. 
Thy soothing lays may still be read, 
When Persecution's arm is dead, 

And critics are forgot. 

Still I must yield those worthies merit, 
Who chasten, with unsparing spirit, 

Bad rhymes, and those who write them j 
And though myself may be the next 
By critic sarcasm to be vex'd, 

I really will not fight them.+ 

Perhaps they would do quite as well 
To break the rudely-sounding shell 
Of such a young beginner. 

• These stasias were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique, in ft 
aorthern review, on a new publication of the British Anacreon, 

t A bard (horresco referens) defied his reviewer to mortal combat. If this example 
becomes prevalent, our periodical censors must be dipped in the river Stvx ; tor what elK 
eaa secure then< fr-*» the numerous host of their eDrag-ed assfulaDtc J 

Q 2 



-4 



•& ^ 

84 B V RON'S POEMS. 

He who offends at pert nineteen. 
Ere thirty may become, I we«E, 
A very harden'd sinner. 

Now, Clare, I must return to you j 
And, sure, apologies are due: 

Accept, then, my concession. 
In truth, dear Clare, in fancy's nig*/, 
i soar along from left to right ! 

My muse admires digression. 

] think I said 'twould be your fate 
To add one star to royal state ; — 

May regal smiles attend you ! 
And should a noble monarch reign, 
You will not seek his smiles in vain, 

If worth can recommend you. 

Yet since in danger courts abound, 
Where specious rivals glitter round, 

From snares may saints preserve you ; 
And grant your love or friendship ne'er 
From any claim a kindred care, 

But those who best deserve you ! 

Not for a moment may you stray 
From truth's secure, unerring way 1 

May no delights decoy ! 
O'er roses may your footsteps move, 
Your smiles be ever smiles of love, 

Your tears be tears of joy ! 

Oh ! if you wish that happiness 

Your coming days and years may bless, 

And virtues crown your brow ; 
Be still as you were wont to be, 
Spotless as you've been known to me, — 

Be still as you are now. 

And though some trifling share of praififc. 
To cheer my last declining days. 

To me were doubly dear ; 
Whilst blessing your beloved name, 
I'd waive at once a poets fame, 

To prove a prophet here. 



LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCH. 
YARD OF HARROW. 

Spot of my youth ! whose hoary branches sigh, 
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky ; 
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod. 
vVith those I loved, the soft and verdant sod ; 



.> 



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*4h 



HOURS OF IDLENESS. 85 

With those who, ecatterM far, perchance deplore^ 

Like me, the happy scones they know before : 

Oh ! as I trace again thy winding hill, 

Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still, 

Thou drooping elm ! beneath whose boughs I lay. 

And frequent mused the twilight hours away ; 

Where, as they once were wont, ray limbs recline, 

But ah ! without the thoughts which then were mine 

How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, 

Invite the bosom to recall the past, 

And seem to whisper, as they gently swell, 

" Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell ! * 

When fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd breast, 
And calm its cares and passions into rest, 
Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour, — 
If aught may soothe when life resigns her power, — 
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, 
Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell. 
With this fond dream, methinks, 'twere sweet to die— 
And here it linger' d, here my heart might he ; 
Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose ; 
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose ; 
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade, 
Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd ; 
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved, 
Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved ; 
Blest by the tongues that charm' d my youthful ear, 
Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here ; 
Deplored by those in early days allied, 
And unremember'd by the world beside. 

September 2nd, V&33. 



LINES INSCRIBED UPON A CUP FORMED FROM A 
SKULL. 

Start not — nor deem my spirit fled ; 

In me behold the only skull 
From which, unlike a living head, 

Whatever flows is never dull. 

I lived, I loved, I quaff 'd, like thoo : 

I died : let earth my bones resign : 
Fill up— thou canst not injure me ; 

The worm hath fouler lips than thine. 

Better to hold the sparkling grape, 
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood ; 

And circle in the goblet's shape 

The drink of gods, than reptile's food. 

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone; 

In aid of others' let me shine ; 
And when, alas ! our brains are gone, 

What nobler substitute than wine i 



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4- 



86 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Quaff while thou canst : another race, 
When thou and thine, like me, are sped, 

May rescue thee from earth's embrace, 
And rhyme and revel with the dead. 

Why not — since through life's little day 
Our heads such sad effects produce ? 

Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay, 
This chance is theirs, to be of use. 



ON REVISITING HARROW.* 

HEBE once engaged the stranger's view, 
Young Friendship's record simply traced ; 

Jew were her words, but yet, though few, 
Resentment's hand the line defaced. 

Deeply she cut — but not erased, 

The characters were still so plain, 
T/Jat Friendship once return'd, and gazed,— 

Till Memory hail'd the words again. 

Repentaace placed them as before ; 

Forgiveness join'd her gentle name ; 
So fair the inscription seem'd once more, 

That Friendship thought it still the same. 

Thus might the record now have been : 
But, an ! in spite of Hope's endeavour, 

Or Friendship's tears, Pride rush'd between, 
And blotted out the line for ever.+ 

* i"hfe>e lines were suggested by finding the names of himself and a friend, which hfid 
tfaa cnt as a memorial, craned by that friend on account of eome offence taken. 

t " The recording angel dropp'd a tear upon the wcrd as h« wrote it, sua Uutled It <rl 
ou. •»«■.'•— iitorac'i SCam </L(f«re. 




-o 



ENGLISH BIRDS 

AND 

SOOTGH REVIEWERS: 

A SATIRE. 



* I had mther be a kitten, and cry mew J 
Than one of these game metre ballad -mongers." — SiLiJwrEARE. 

" Such shameless bards we have ; and yet 'tis true, 
There are as mad, abandon'd critics too." — Pora 



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION. 

All my friends, learned and unlearned, have urged me not to pubiisL 
this satire with my name. If I were to be " turn'd from the career of my 
humour by quibbles quick, and paper bullets of the brain," I should have 
complied with their counsel} but I am not to be terrified by abuse, or 
bullied by reviewers, with or without arms. I can safely say that 1 have 
attacked none personally who did not commence on the offensive. An 
author's works are public property : he who purchases may judge, and 
publish his opinion if he pleases ; and the authors I have endeavoured to 
commemorate may do by me as I have done by them : I dare say they will 
succeed better in condemning my scribblings, than in mending their own. 
But my object is not to prove that I can write well, but, if possible, to 
make others write better. 

As the poem has met with far more success than I expected, I have 
endeavoured in this edition to make some additions and alterations to 
render it more worthy of public perusal. 

In the first edition of this satire, published anonymously, fourteen 
lines on the subject of Bowles's Pope were written and inserted at the 
request of an ingenious friend of mine, who has now in the press a volume 
of poetry. In the present edition they are erased, and some of my own 
substituted in their stead ; my only reason for this being, that, which l 
conceive would operate with any other person in the same manne T -a 
determination not to publish with my name any production which was 
not entirely and exclusively my own composition. 

With regard to the real talents of many of the poetical persons whose 
perfjrmances are mentioned, or alluded to, in the following pages, it is 
presumed by the author that there can be little difference of opinion in the 
public at large ; though, like other sectaries, each has his separate taber- 
nacle of proselytes, by whom his abilities are overrated, his faults over- 
looked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without 
consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considerable genial 
by several of the writers here censured, renders their mental prostitution 
more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at 
and forgotten ; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. 
No one can wish more than the author that some known and able writer 
had undertaken their exposure j but Mr. Gifford has devoted himself to 
ttf&ssinger, and in the absence of the regular physician, a country practi- 



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88 BYRON'S POEMS. 

tioner may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe hte 
nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided 
there be no quackery in nis treatment of the malady. A caustic is here 
offered, as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover 
the numerous patients afflicted with the present prevalent and distressing 
rabies for rhyming. 

As to the Edinburgh Reviewers, it would, indeed, require a Hercules 
fr> crush the Hydra: but if the author succeeds in merely " br.ising one 
of the heads of the serpent," though his own hand should suPer iu the 
ancoujitet, be will be amply satisfied. 



ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS/ 



Still must I hear ? — shall hoarse Fitzgeraldf bawl 
His breaking couplets iu a tavern hall, 
And I not siDg, lest, haply, Scotch reviews 
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my muse? 
Prepare for rhyme — I'll publish, right or wrong ; 
Fools are my theme, let satire be my song. 

Oh ! nature's noblest gift — my gray goose-quill ! 
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, 
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, 
That mighty instrument of little men ! 
The pen ! foredoom'd to aid the mental throes 
Of brains that labour, big witlrverse or prose, 
Thougu nymphs forsake, and critics may deri«l-, 
The lover's solace, and the author's pride. 
What wits, what poets, dost thou daily raise ! 
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise ! 
Condemn'd at length to be forgotten quite, 
With all the pages which 'twas thine to write. 
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen ! 
Once laid aside, but now assumed again, 
Our task complete, like Hamet's shall be free ;% 
Though spurn'd by others, yet beloved by me : 
Then let us soar to-day, no common theme, 
No eastern vision, no distemper'd dream 
Inspires — our path, though full of thorns, is pl^m ; 
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain. 

• Written at Nevitead lu 18J8. 

♦ iMTiTios : — 

Semper ego auditor tantum T nunquamne reponani, 
Vexatus totiea rauci Theseide Codri ?— JrvEKAL, Satire 1. 
l)[r. Fitzgerald, facetiously termed by Cobbett the " Small Beer Poet," inAiHs Uc 
annual tribute of verse on the " Literary Fund :" not content with writing, he spouts :a 
person, after the company have imbibed a reaso^-We quantity of bad port, to enable them 
to sustain the operation. 

t Cid Huonet Benengell promises repose to his pen In the last chapter of " Dou 
Q'lixote." Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the enauiyle of Did Etun-4 
lieneugelL 



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ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 89 

When Vice triumphant holds her sov'reign 87/ay, 
And men, through lifo her willing slaves, obey; 
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime, 
Unfolds her motley store to suit the time; 
When knaves and fools combined o'er all prevail. 
When Justice halts, and Right begins to fail ; 
E'en then the boldest start from public sneers, 
Afraid of shame, unknown to other fears, 
More darkly sin, by satire kept in awe, 
And shrink from ridicule, though not from law. 

Such is the force of wit ! but not belong 
To me the arrows of satiric song ; 
The royal vices of our age demand 
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand. 
Still there are follies, e'en for me to chase, 
And yield at least amusement in the race : 
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame ; 
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game. 
Speed, Pegasus ! — ye strains of great and small, 
Ode, epic, elegy, have at you all ! 
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time 
I pour'd along the town a flood of rhyme, 
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame ; 
I printed — older children do the same. 
'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print ; 
A book's a book, although there's nothing in't. 
Not that a title's sounding charm can save 
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave : 
This Lambe must own, since his patrician name 
Fail'd to preserve the spurious farce from shame.* 
.No matter, George continues still to write, t 
Though now the name is veil'd from public sight. 
Moved by the great example, I pursue 
The self-same road, but make my own review ; 
Not seek great Jeffrey's, yet like him will be 
Self- constituted judge of poesy. 

A man must serve his time to every trade 
Save censure — critics all are ready made. 
Take hackney'd jokes from Miller, got by rote, 
With just enough of learning to misquote ; 
A mind well skill'd to find or forge a fault ; 
A turn for punning, —call it Attic salt ; 
To Jeffrey go ; be silent and discreet, 
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet. 
Fear not to he, 'twill seem a lucky hit ; 
Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit ; 
Care not for feeling — pass your proper jest, 
And stand a critic, hated yet caress' d. 

8 vlils ingenious youth is mentioned more particularly, with his prodiwKcfi, 
} ir, the " Edinburgh Review." 



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90 B YR ON 'S POE MS. 

And shall we own such judgment ? No— as ooou 
Seek roses in December — ice in June ; 
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff ; 
Believe a woman, or an epitaph, 
Or any other thing that's lalse, before 
You trust in critics, who themselves are sore ; 
Or yield one single thought to be misled 
By Jeffrey's heart, or Lambe's Boeotian head.* 
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced^ 
Combined usurpers on the throne of taste ; 
To these, when authors bend in humble awe,t 
And hail their voice as truth, their word as lav/ — 
While these are censors, 'twould be sin to spare ; 
While such are critics, why should I forbear ? 

But yet, so near all modern worthies run, 
'Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun ; 
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike, 
Our bards and censors are so much alike. 

Then should you ask me, why, I venture o'er X 
The path that Pope and Gifford § trod before ; 
If not yet sicken'd, you can still proceed : 
Go on ; my rhyme will tell you as you read. 

u But hold !" exclaims a friend, — " here's some neglwt : 
This — that — and t'other line seem incorrect." 
What then ? the self-same blunder Pope has got, 
And careless Dryden — " Ay, but Pye has not." 
Indeed ! — 'tis granted, faith ! but what care 1 I 
Better to err with Pope, than shine with Pye. 

Time was, e'er yet in these degenerate days 
Ignoble themes obtain'd mistaken praise, 
When sense and wit with poesy allied, 
No fabled graces, fiourisk'd side by side ; 
From the same fount their inspiration drew, 
And, rear'd by taste, bloom'd fairer as they grevv. 
Then, in this happy isle, a Pope's pure strain 
Sought the wrapt soul to charm, nor sought in vaiu ; 
A polish'd nation's praise aspired to claim, 
And raised the people's, as the poet's fame. 
Like him great Dryden ponr'd the tide of song, 
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong. 
Then Congreve's || scenes could cheer, or Otway'sU melt ; 
For nature then an English audience felt. 

• Messrs. Jeffrey and Lambe are the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, of the " Salr> 
Varpii Review ? the others are mentioned here&Xter. 
1 Lhitation :— 

Stulta est dementia, cam tot ablque 

occarr&s periturse parcere charts. — JcvkkaL, Satire 1. 

1 Imitation : — 

Cur tamen hoc libeat potius decurrere campo 
Per quern inagnus equos Auruncx flexit alumnus : 
Si vacat, et placidi rationem admittitis, edam. — JtmafAJL, Satire I. 
§ A uthor of the " Baviad " and " Maeviad," and first editor of the " Quarterly Kevieu - . 
Us became, afterwards, the friend and Aristarchus of Lord Byron. 
1 The great wit of the Augustan age, author of " Love for Love," *o. *c. 
*i The most yathetie of fell English writers of tragedy : author of " t'cido? Preserved," 
t*. Ac 

+£$* >■{&+ 



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ENGLISH BARDS &* SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 91 

But why these names, or greater still, retrace, 
When all to foebler bards resign their place ? 
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast, 
When taste and reason with those times are past. 
Now look around, and turn each trifling page, 
Survey the precious works thtA please the age ; 
This truth at least let satire's self allow, 
No dearth of bards can be complain'd of now 1 
The loaded press beneath her labour groans, 
And printers' devils shake their weary bones ; 
While Southey's epics cram the creaking si 1 elves, 
And Little's* lyrics shine in hot-press'd twelves. 

Thus saith the preacher : " Nought beneath the sunt 
Is new ; " yet still from change to change we run ; 
What varied wonders tempt us as they pasct 
The cow-pox, tractors, galvanism, and gas, 
In turns appear, to make the vulgar stare, 
Till the swoln bubble bursts — and all is air I 
Nor less new schools of poetry arise, 
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize : 
O'er taste awhile these pseudo-bards prevail : 
Each country book-club bows the knee to Baal, 
„ And, hurling lawful genius from the throne, 

Erects a shrine and idol of its own ; 
Some leaden calf — but whom it matters not, 
From soaring Southey down to grovelling Stott. J 

Behold ! in various throngs the scribbling crew, 
For notice eager, pass in long review : 
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace, 
And rhyme and blank maintain an equal raoe 5 
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode ; 
And tales of terror jostle on the road ; 
Immeasurable measures move along, 
For simpering folly loves a varied song, 
To strange mysterious dulness still the friend, 
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend. 

Thus Lays of Minstrels — may they be the last ! Q — 
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast ; 

• r. Moore's early amatory poems were published under the name of Thomas Little. 
f Bcclesiaste*, cap. 1. 

t Stott, better known In the " Morning Post " by the name of Hafiz. This person 1» at 
present the most profound explorer of the bathos. I remember, when the reigning famify 
'•ft Portugal, a special ode of Master Stott's, beginning thus : 
(Stott loquitur quoad Hibernia.) 
•* Princely offspring of Braganza, 
Erin greets thee with a stanza," &r&. && 
Aieo a sonnet to rats, veil worthy of the subject, and a most thunderizg *1e, coaxiaadng 
iu follows : — 

" Oh ! for a lay I loud as the surge 
That lashes Lapland's sounding shore." 
Lord have mercy on us ! the " Lay of the Last Minstrel " was nothing to this. 

§ See the " I-ay of the Last Minstrel," passim. Never was any plan so incongruous 
*nd absurd as the groundwork of this production. The entrance of Thunder and Light- 
ning prologuizing to Bayes' Tragedy, unfor unate^ ia *JX away the merit of originality 
from the dialogue between Slessmirs the Spirits ti ilood and Fell in the first canto. 




4* 



92 JSYXON'S POEMS. 

While mountain spirits prate to river spritce. 
That dames may listen to the sound at nights ; 
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner's brood,* 
Decoy young border nobles through the wood, 
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high, 
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why ; 
While high-born ladies in their magic cell, 
Forbidding knights to read who cannot spell. 
Despatch a courier to a wizard's grave. 
And fight with honest men to shield a Jcnavo. 

Next view in state, proud prancing on his reejia, 
The golden-crested haughty Marmion, 
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight, 
Not quite a felon, yet but half a knight, 
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace ; 
A mighty mixture of the great and base. 
And think'st thou, Scott ! by vain conceit perchance, 
On public taste to foist thy stale romance ? 
Though Murray with his Miller may combine 
To yield thy muse just half a crown per line ? 
No ! when the sons of song descend to trade, 
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade. 
Let such forego the poet's sacred name, 
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame ; 
Low may they sink to merited contempt, 
And scorn remunerate the mean attempt ! 
Such be their meed, such still the just reward 
Of prostituted muse and hireling bard ! 
For this we spurn Apollo's venal son, 
And bid a long "good night to Marmion. "t 

These are the themes that claim our plaudits now ; 
These are the bards to whom the muse must bow : 
While Milton, Dryden, Pope, alike forgot, 
Resign their hallow'd bays to Walter Scott. 

The time has been, when yet the muse was young, 
When Homer swept the lyre, and Maro+ sung, 
An epic scarce ten centuries could claim, 
While awe-struck nations hail'd the magic name ; 

Then we have the amiable William of Delor&ine, " a stark mosstrooper," vxdelioet, •» 
happy compound of poacher, sheep-stealer, and highwayman. The propriety of hJC 
magical lady's injunction not to read can only be equalled by his candid acknowledgmeuk 
of Ids independence of the trammels of spelling, although, to use his own elegant phra*ft- 
" 'twas his neck -verse at Harribee," ». e. the gallows. 

• The biography of Gilpin Horner, and the marvellous pedestrian page, who travelled 
twice as fast as his master's horse, without the aid of seven-leagued boots, are cheft- 
&' aru ere in the improvement of taste. For incident we have the invisible, but by no 
means sparing, box on the ear, bestowed on the page, and the entrance of a knight aim 
charger into the castle, under the very natural disguise of a wain of hay. Marmion, th« 
hero of the latter romance, is exactly what William of Deloraine would have been, had as 
been able to read and write. The poem was manufactured for Messrs. Constable, Murray, 
wad Miller, worshipful booksellers, in consideration of the receipt of a sum of monev \ 
uid truly, considering the inspiration, it is a very creditable production. If Mr. Scott 
will write for hire, let him do his best for his paymaster?, but not disgrace his gemot, 
which is undoubtedly great, by a repetition of black letter ballad Imitations. 

t " Good night to Marmion " — the pathetic and also prophetic exclamation of Heus 
tlount, Esquire, on the death of honest Manuioa. 

I Virgil. 



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ENGLISH BARDS dr> SC01CII REVIEWERS. 93 

The work ot each immortal hard appears 

The single wonder of a thousand years.* 

Empires have moulder'd from the face of earth, 

Tongues have expired with those who gave them birtL, 

Without the glory such a strain can give, 

As even in ruin bids the language live. 

Not so with us, though minor bards content, 

On one great work a li^e of labour spent : 

With eagle pinion soaring So the skies, 

Behold the ballad-monger Southey rise ! 

To him let Camoens, Milton, Tasso yield, 

Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field. 

First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance, 
The scourge of England, and the boast of France ! 
Though burnt by wicked Bedford for a witch, t 
Behold her statue placed in glory's niche ; 
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison, 
a virgin phoenix from her ashes risen. 
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on, X 
Arabia's monstrous, wild, and wondrous son ; 
Domdaniel's dread destroyer, who o'erthrew 
More mad magicians than the world e'er knew. 
Immortal hero ! all thy foes o'ercome, 
For ever reign — the rival of Tom Thumb ! 
Since startled metre fled before thy face, 
Well wert thou doom'd the last of all thy race ! 
Well might triumphant genii bear thee hence, 
Illustrious conqueror of common sense ! 
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails, 
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales ; 
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do, 
More old than Mandeville's, and not so true.§ 
Oh ! Southey, Southey, cease thy varied song ![| 
A bard may chant too often and too long ; 
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy spare ! 
A fourth, alas ! were more than we could bear. 
But if, in spite oi all the world can say, 
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way ; 

• A* the " Odyssey" is so closely connected with the story of the " niad," th«y nay 
ikmost be classed as one grand historical poem. In alluding to Milton and Tasst,, we 
consider the " Paradise Lost," and " Gierusalemme Liberata," as their standard efforts ; 
since neither the " Jerusalem Conquered " of the Italian, nor the " Paradise Regained " 
of the English bard, obtained a proportionate celebrity to their former poems. Query : 
Which of Mr. Southey's will survive ? 

f Some French authors now say that she was not burnt, and that her descendants art 
•Jive to prove it. 

X " Thalaba," Mr. Southey's second poem, is written in open defiance of precedent anO 
poetry. Mr. S. wished to produce something novel, and succeeded to a miracle. " Joan of 
Ale" was marvellous enough, but '* Thalaba" was one of those poems " which," in the 
»ords of Porson, " will be read when Homer and Virgil are forgotten, but — not till then.' 

S A celebrated traveller, of very doubtful veracity. 

f We beg Mr. Southey's pardon : " Madoc disdains the degraded titJe of epic." See hii 
preface. Why is Epic degraded t and by whom ? Certainly the late romaunts of Masters 
Oottle, Laureate Pye, Ogilvy, Hole, and gentle Mistress Cowley, have not exalted ths 
Epic Muse ; but as Mr. Soutney"s poem " disdains the appellation," allow us to ask. — has 
be substituted anything better in its stead ? or must he be content to rival Six Richard 
EU&ckmore in the quantity aa well as quality of his vera T 



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94 BYRON'S POEMS, 

If still in Berkeley ballads most uncivil, 
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,* 
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue : 
" God help thee," Southey, and thy readers too.f 

Next comes the dull disciple of thy school, 
That mild apostate from poetic rule, 
The simple Wordsworth, framer of a lay 
As soft as evening in his favourite Ma}', 
Who warns his friend " to shake off toil and trouble* 
And quit his books, for fear of growing double ;"£ 
Who, both by precept and example, shows 
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose ; 
Convincing all, by demonstration plain, 
Poetic souls delight in prose insane ; 
And Christmas stories, tortured into rhyme, 
Contain the essence of the true sublime. 
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy, 
The idiot mother of "an idiot boy,' 
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way, 
And, like his bard, confounded night with day ;§ 
So close on each pathetic part he dwells, 
And each adventure so sublimely tells, 
That all who view the "idiot in his glory," 
Conceive the bard the hero of the story. 

Shall gentle Coleridge pass unnoticed here, 
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear ? 
Though themes of innocence amuse him beat,, 
Yet still obscurity 's a welcome guest. 
If Inspiration should her aid refuse 
To him who takes a pixy for a muse,|| 
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass 
The bard who soars to elegise an ass. 
How well the subject suits his nobie mind ! 
"A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind.** 

Oh ! wonder-working Lewis ! monk, or bard, 
Who fain wouldst make Parnassus a churchyard ! 
Lo ! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow, 
Thy muse a sprite, Apollo's sexton thou ! 

• Ece, " The Old Woman of Berkeley," a ballad by Mr. Southey, wherein an aged em 
Utwoman is carried away by Beelzebub, on a " high trotting horse." 

t The last line, " God help thee," is an evident plagiarism from the " An ti -Jacobin ; - tt 
Xi. Southey, on his Dactylics. '* God help thee, silly one."— Toetry of the A nti JaooKn, 
ptge 23. 
I " Lyrical Ballads," page 4, — " The tables turned." Stanza L 
" Up, up, my friend, and clear your look* ; 
Why all this toil and trouble ? 
Up, up, my friend, and quit your books, 
Or surely you'U grow doable." 
5 Mr. W. In his preface labours hard to prove that prose and verse are much Voe Mine | 
■nr certainly his precepts and practice are strictly conformable. 
** And thus to Betty's question he 

Made answer, like a traveller bold, 
The cock did crow to-whoo, to-whoo, 

And the sun did shine so cold," 4c *c. — Lyrical Ball-adt, page 19 
I Coleridge'? Poems, p. 11, " Songs of the Pixies," i. e. Devonshire Fairiee ; p. 4$, •% 
i*ve " Junes to a Young L&dy," and p. 52, " Lines to a Young Aaa," 



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ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 95 

Whethor on ancient tombs thou tak'st thy etand, 

By gibb'ring spectres hail'd, thy kindred band ; 

Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page, 

To please the females of our modest age ; 

All hail, M.P. ! from whose infernal brain* 

Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train ; 

At whose command "grim women " throng in crowdf, 

And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds, 

With "small gray men," "wild yagers, ' and what not, 

To crown with honour thee and Walter Scott ! 

Again all hail ! if tales like thine may please, 

St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease : 

Even Satan's self with thee might dread to dwell, 

And in thy skull discern a deeper hell. 

Who in soft guise, surrounded by u choir, 
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta's fire, 
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flush'd, 
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hu&h'cLS 
'Tis Little ! young Catullus of his day, 
As sweet, but as immoral, in his lay ! 
Grieved to condemn, the muse must still be just, 
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust. 
Pure is the flame which o'er her altar burns ; 
From grosser incense with disgust she turns : 
Yet, kind to youth, this expiation o'er, 
She bids thee " mend thy line, and sin no more." 

For thee, translator of the tinsel song, 
To whom such glittering ornaments belong, 
Hibernian Strangford ! with thine eyes of blue,T 
And boasted locks of red, or auburn hue, 
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick miss admires, 
And o'er harmonious fustian half expires, 
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author's sense, 
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence. 
Think' st thou to gain thy verse a higher place, 
By dressing Camoens in a suit of lace ? 
Mend, Strangford ! mend thy morals and thy taste ; 
Be warm, but pure ; be amorous, but be chaste : 
Cease to deceive ; thy pilfer' d harp restore, 
Nor teach the Lusian bard to copy Moore. 

In many marble-cover'd volumes view 
Hayley, in vain attempting something new ; 
Whether he spin his comedies in rhyme, 
Or scrawl, as Wood and Barclay walk, 'gainst tlrac^ 
His style in youth or age is still the same, 
For ever feeble and for ever tame. 

• " For every one knows little Matt 's an MP."— See a Poem to JSi. Lrwte, b. th« 
• fttatMrnan," supposed to be written by Mr. JekylL 

t The reader who may wish for an explanation of this, may refer to " Strangford'* 
O.iaoSns," p. 127, note to page 56 or to the last page of the Edinburgh review of Strang - 
ford's Camoens. 

It is also to be remark sd, that the things fliven to the public as poems of Camoens, ars 
co more to be found in the original Portuguese, than in the Song of Solomon. 



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96 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Triumphant first see "Temper's Triumphs" shinoi 
At least I'm sure they triumph'd over mine. 
Of "Music's Triumphs," all who read may swear, 
That luckless music never triumph'd there.* 

Moravians, rise ! bestow some meet reward 
On dull devotion — Lo ! the Sabbath bard, 
Sepulchral Grahame, pours his notes sublime, 
In mangled prose, nor e'en aspires to rhyme. 
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke, 
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch ; 
And, undisturb'd by conscientious qualms, 
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms. f 

Hail, Sjunpathy ! thy soft idea brings 
K thousand visions of a thousand things, 
And shows, dissolved in thine own melting tears, 
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers. 
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Eowlec I 
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls ? 
Whether in sighing winds thou seek'si relief, 
Or consolation in a yellow leaf ; 
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells 
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bollc*? 
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend 
In every chime that jingled from Ostend ; 
Ah ! how much juster were thy muse's hap, 
If to thy bells thou wouldst but add a cap ! 
Delightful Bowles ! still blessing and still blest, 
All love thy strain, but children like it best. 
'Tis thine, with gentle Little's moral song, 
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng ! 
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears, 
Ere miss, as yet, completes her infant years ; 
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain ; 
She quits poor Bowles for Little's purer strain. 
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine 
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine ; 
" Awake a louder and a loftier strain, "§ 
Such as none heard before, or will again ; 
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood, 
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud, 

• flayiey'a two most notorious verse productions, are " Triumphs of Temper," orv£ 
1 Triumphs of Music." He has also written much comedy in rhyme, epistles, Ac. &c 
i,s i»e is rather an elegant writer of notes and biography, let us recommend Pope's ad vice 
to Wyoherley, to Mr. H.'s consideration : viz. " to convert his poetry into prose," which 
liiny easily be done by taking away the final syllable of each couplet. 

t Mr. Grthame has poured forth two volumes of cant, under the name of " Sabbath 
Walks," and " Biblical Pictures." 

I See Bowles's Sonnete, Ac. — " Sonnet to Oxford," and " Stanzas on hearing the BeJi 
ef OsteDd." 

§ " Awake a loader," 4c. &c, Is the first line in Bowles's " Spirit of Discovery," a very 
•vjiied and pretty dwarf epic. Among other exquisite lines we have the following . - 
•• A kiss 

Stole on the list'ning silence, never yet 
Here heard ; they trembled even as if the power," &o. 

Tint is, the woods of Madeira trembled to a kiss, very much astonished, u wal iLcy 
ituolit be, at such a phenomenon. 



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ENGL1SH BARDS &- SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 97 

By more or less, are sung in every book, 

From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook, 

Not this alone ; but, pausing on the road, 

The bard sighs forth a gentle episode ;* 

And gravely tells — attend, each beauteous miss I 

When first Madeira trembled to a kiss. 

Bowles ! in thy memory let this precept dwell, 

Stick to thy tonnets, man ! — at least they sell. 

But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe, 

Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scri'i)©^ 

If chance some bard, though once by dunces fear'd-. 

Now, prone in dust, can only be revered r 

If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first, 

Have foil'd the best of critics, needs the worst, 

Do thou essay ; each fault, each failing scan : 

The first of poets was, alas ! but man. 

Rake from each ancient dunghill ev'ry pearl, 

Consult Lord Fanny, and confide in Curll ;+■ 

Let all the scandals of a former age 

Perch on thy pen, and flutter o'er thy page ; 

Affect a candour which thou canst not feel, 

Clothe envy in the garb of honest zeal ; 

Write, as if St. John's soul ct mid still inspire^ 

And do from hate, what Maliet did for hire.* 

Oh ! hadst thou lived in that congenial time, 

To rave with Dennis, and with Ralph to rhyme ;§ 

Throng'd with the rest around his living head, 

Not raised thy hoof against the lion dead, 

A meet reward had crown'd thy glorious gainn, 

And link'd thee to the Dunciad for thy pains. y 

Another epic ! who inflicts again 
More books of blank upon the sons of men ? 
Boeotian Cottle, rich Bristowa's boast, 
Imports old stories from the Cambrian coast, 
And sends his goods to market — all alive ! 
Lines forty thousand, cantos twenty-five ! 
Fresh fish from Helicon ! who'll buy ? who'll buy ? 
The precious bargain 's cheap — in faith, not I. 
Too much in turtle Bristol's sons delight. 
Too much o'er bowls of rack prolong the night ! 
If Commerce fills the purse, she clogs the brain, 
And Amos Cottle strikes the lyre in vain. 

• The episode above alluded to, is the story of " Kobert a Machin," and " Anno 
fl-Arfet," a pair of constant lovers, who performed the kiss above mentioned, that startled 
the woods of Madeira. 

t Curll is one of the heroes of the " Dunciad " and was a bookseller, lord Fanny is the 
poetical name of Lord Hervey, author of " Lines to the Imitator of Horace." 

J Lord Bolingbroke hired Mallet to traduce Pope after his decease, because the poet 
bad retained some copies of a work by Lord Bolingbroke (the " Patriot King "\ which 
that splendid but malignant genius had ordered to be destroy ad. 

§ Dennis, the critic, and Ralph, the rhymester. 

" Silence, ye wolves ! while Ralph to Cynthia howls, 
Making night hideous ; answer him, ye owls ! " — Dunciad. 

5 See Bowles's late edition of Pope's works, for which he received 300 pounds : thus 
B£r. B. has experienced how much easier it is to profit t»y th» reputation of another, if&vi 
%o el&v«x« hi* own. 



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98 BY A' OX'S POEMS. 

In him an auther's luckless lot behold, 
Condemn'd to mako the books which once he aold, 
Oh, Amos Cottle ! — Phoebus ! what a name, 
To fill the speaking trump of future fame ! 
Oh, Amos Cottle ! for a moment think 
What meagre profits spring from pen and ink ! 
When thus devoted to poetic dreams, 
Who will peruse thy prostituted reams " 
Oh, pen perverted ! paper misapplied ! 
jiad Cottle still adorn'd the counter's side,* 
Bent o'er the desk, or, born to useful toils, 
Been taught to make the paper which he soils, 
Flough'd, delved, or plied the oar with lusty L.mb, 
He had not sung of Wales, nor I of him. 

As Sisyphus against the infernal steep 
Rolls th© huge ruck, whose motions ne'er may sleep, 
So up thy hill, ambrosial Richmond ! heaves 
Dull Maurice all his granite weight of leaves :+ 
Smooth, solid monuments of mental pain ! 
The petrifactions of a plodding brain, 
That ere they reach the top fall lumbering back agpin. 

With broken lyre, and cheek serenly pale, 
Lo ! sad Alcaeus wanders down the vale ; 
Though fair they rose, and might have bloom'd at last, 
His hopes have perish'd by the northern blast : 
Nipp'd in the bud by Caledonian gales, 
His blossoms wither as the blast prevails ! 
O'er his lost works let classic Sheffield weep ; 
May no rude hand disturb their early sleep ' X 

Yet, say ! why should the bard at once resign 
His claim to favour from the sacred Nine ? 
For ever startled by the mingled howl 
Of northern wolves, that still in darkness prow r . ; 
A coward brood, which mangle as they prey, 
By hellish instinct, all that cross their way ; 
A.ged or young, the living or the dead, 
No mercy find — these harpies must be fed. 
Why do the injured unresisting yield 
The calm possession of their native held ? 
Why tamely thus before their fangs retreat, 
Nor hunt the bloodhounds back to Arthur's Seat ? § 

Health to immortal Jeffrey ! once, in name, 
England could boast a judge almost the same ; 

• Mr. Cottle, Amoi, Joseph, I don't know which, but one or both, once seller? of boods 
"rjev did not write, and now writers of book* mat do not sell, have published a pen oi 
ides. " Alfred " (poor Alfred I Pye has been at him too 1) " Allred " and the " Fall 
■% Cambria." 

t Mr. Maurice hath manufactured the component parts of a ponderous quarto, up<ta 
Ihe " Beauties of Richmond Bill," and the like; — it also takes in a charming vie\» of 
rurnhaui Green, Bammrrsuiith, Brentford, Old and New, and the parts adjacent. 

J Poor Montgomery 1 though praised by every English review, has been bitterly reviled 
oy the Edinburgh. After all, the bard of Sheffield is a man of considerable genius ; his 
' Wandei of Switzerland " is worth a thousand " Lyrical Ballads." and at least fifty 
" dexmrted epica." 

i) Arthur'* Se-it ; the hill which overhnDfci Klitihuruh. 






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ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 99 

In soul so like, so merciful, yet just, 
Some think that Satan has reaign'd his tnist, 
And given the spirit tu Mie world again, 
To sentence letters, as he sentenced men. 
With hand loss mighty, but with heart as b'laoic, 
With voice as willing to decree the rack ; 
Bred in the courts betimes, though all that law 
,1s yet hath taught him is to find a fiaw. 
Since well instructed in the patriot school 
To rail at party, though a party tool, 
Who knows, if chance his patrons should restore 
Back to tho sway they forfeited before, 
His scribbling toils some recompense may mee k . 
And raiso this Daniel to the judgment-seat. 
Let Jeffries' shade indulge the pious hope, 
And greeting thus, present him with a rope : 
" Heir to my virtues ! man of equal mind ! 
Skill'd to condemn as to traduce mankind, 
This cord receive, for thee reserved with care, 
To wield in judgment, and at length to wear." 

Health to great Jeffrey ! Heaven preserve his litw, 
To flourish on the fertile shores of Fife, 
And guard it sacred in its future wars. 
Since authors sometimes seek the field of JNlars i 
Can none remember that eventful day, 
That ever glorious, almost fatal fray, 
When Little *s leadless pistol met his eye, 
And Bow Street myrmidons stood laughing by ?* 
Oh, day disastrous ! on her firm-set rock, 
Dunedin's castle felt a secret shock : 
Dark roll'ci the sympathetic waves of Forth, 
Low groan'd the startled whirlwinds of the north ; 
Tweed ruffled half his waves to form a tear, 
The other half pursued its calm career ; 1* 
Arthur's steep summit nodded to its base, 
The surly Tolbooth scarcely kept her place ; 
The Tolbooth felt — for marble sometimes can, 
On such occasions, feel as much as man — 
The Tolbooth felt defrauded of his charms, 
If Jeffrey died, except within her arms :$ 
Nay, last, not least, on that portentous morn, 
The sixteenth story where himself was bom, 



• In 1806, Messrs. Jeffrey and Moore met st Chalk Kann. The duel was prevented hy 
Ule interference of the magistracy ; and, on examination, the balk of tha pistols, 1:1m 
li* courage of the combatants, were found to have evaporated. This incident gave iec»- 
ii«p to much waggery in the daily prints. 

t The Tweed here behaved with proper decorum ; it would have been highly repre- 
hensible in the English half of the river to have shown the smallest symptom of 
apprehension. 

J This display of sympathy on the part of the Tolbooth (the principal prison in Edin- 
burgh), which truly seems to have been most affected on this occasion, is much to b« 
commended. It was to be apprehended, that the many mfhappy criminals executed in 
the front might have rendered the edifice more callous. She is said to be oi the auftet 
sei, because her delicacy of feeling on this day wa» Tuly feminite, though, like most 
feuttiaiue impulses, perhaps a little selfish. 

a 2 



I oo BYRON'S POEMS. 

His patrimonii garret, fell to grcunc., 

And pale Edina shudder'd at the sound : 

Strew'd were the streets around with milk-white ream*. 

Flow'd all the Canongate with inky streams ; 

This of his candour seem'd the sable dew, 

That of his valour show'd the bloodless hue ; 

And all with justice deem'd the two combined 

The mingled emblems of his mighty mind. 

But Caledonia's goddess hover'd o'er 

The field, and saved him from the wrath of Moor* \ 

From either pistol snatcb'd the vengeful lead, 

And straight restored it to her favourite's head ; 

That head, with greater than magnetic power, 

Caught it, as Danae caught the golden shower, 

And, though the thickening dross will scarce refine, 

Augments its ore, and is itself a mine. 

" My son," she cried, "ne'er thirst for gore again, 

Resign the pistol, and resume the pen ; 

O'er politics and poesy preside, 

Boast of thy country, and Britannia's guide ! 

For long as Albion's heedless sons submit, 

Or Scottish taste decides on English wit, 

So long shall last thine unmolested reign, 

Nor any dare to take thy name in vain. 

Behold, a chosen band shall aid thy plan, 

And own thee chieftain of the critic clan. 

First in the ranks illustrious shall be seen 

The travell'd thane, Athenian Aberdeen.* 

Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer, + and sometimes, 

In gratitude, thou'lt praise his rugged rhymes, 

Smug Sydney X too thy bitter page shall seek, 

And classic Hallam, § much renown'd for Greek ; 

Scott may perchance his name and influence lend, 

And paltry Pillans || shall traduce his friend ; 

While gay Thalia's luckless votary, Lam be, 1) 

As he himself was damn'd, shall try to damn. 

• Ills lordship has been much abroad, 1b a member of the Athenian Society, and re- 
viewer of " Gell's TopogTaphy of Troy." 

t Mr. Herbert is a translator of Icelandic and other poetry. One of the principal picas 
'« a " Song on the Recovery of Thor's Hammer :" the translation is a pleasant ooau> ill 
the rnhjar tongue, and endeth thus : — 

" Instead of money and rings, I wot, 
The hammer's bruises were her lot ; 
Thus Odin's son his hammer got." 

I Th- Reverend Sydney Smith, the reputed author of" Pet«r Plymley's Letters," ana 
•und-r criticisms. 

§ Mj Hs'ilam reviewed Payne Knight's " Taste," and was exceedingly severe on somt 
Greek vensei, therein : it was not discovered that the lines were Pindar's till th? prasi 
rendered it impossible to cancel the critique, which still stands an everlasting monument 
of Hallam's ingenuity. 

The said Hallam is incensed, because ho is falsely accused, seeing that he never dineth 
at Holland House. If this be true, I am sorry — not for having said so, but on his 
eccount, as I understand his lordship's feasts are preferable to his eonii>ositions. If he did 
not review Lord Holland's performance, I am glad, because it must have been painful to 
rr.id, and irksome to praise it. If Mr. Hallam will tell me who did review it, the real 
name shall find a place in the text; provided, nevertheless, the said name be of two 
orthodox musical syllables, and will come into the verse ; till then, Hallam must stand 
ft-r want of a better. 

I 1'illans is a tutor at Eton. 

\ iht Ilunuurabl* (i. Laiafcs reviewed Bernaford's Miseriaa." and is Moreover authioi 



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ENGLISH BARDS &» SCOTCH REVIEWERS, ioi 

Known be thy name, unbounded be thy sway ! 
Thy Holland's banquets shall each toil repay ; 
While grateful Britain yields the praise she owes 
To Holland's hirelings and to learning's foes. 
Yet mark one caution, ere thy next review 
Spread its light wings of saffron and of blue, 
Beware lest blundering Brougham* destroy the ssJe, 
Turn beef to bannocks, cauliflowers to kail." 
Thus having said, the kilted goddess kiss'd 
Her son, and vanish'd in a Scottish mist."f 

Illustrious Hollan d ! hard would be his lot, 
His hirelings mention 'd, and himself forgot ! 
Holland, with Henry PettyJ at his back, 
The whipper-in and huntsman of the pack. 
Blest be the banquets spread at Holland House, 
Where Scotchmen feed and critics may carouse ! 
Long, long beneath that hospitable roof, 
Shall Grub Street dine, while duns are kept aloof. 
See honest Hallam lay aside his fork, 
Resume his pen, review his lordship's work, 
And, grateful to the founder of the feast, 
Declare his landlord can translate at least ;§ 
Dunedin ! view thy children with delight, 
They write for food — and feed because they write : 
And lest, when heated with the unusual grape, 
Some glowing thoughts should to the press escape, 
And tinge with red the female reader's cheek, 
My lady skims the cream of each critique ; 
Breathes o'er the page her purity of soul, 
Reforms each error, and refines the whole. || 

Now to the Drama turn — Oh ! motley sighv, 
What precious scenes the wondering eyes invite ! 
Puns, and a prince within a barrel pent,^I 
And Dibdin's nonsense yield complete content.** 

ef a farce enacted with much applause at the Priory, Stanmore ; and damned with great 
expedition at the late theatre, Covent Garden. It wag entitled " Whistle for It." 

• Mr. Brougham, in No. XXV. of the " Edinburgh Review," throughout the article 
concerning Don Pedro de Cevalios, has displayed more polities than policy ; many of 
the worthy burgesses of Edinburgh being so incensed at the infamous principles it evinces, 
as to have withdrawn their subscriptions. 

It seems that Mr. Brougham is not a Pict, as I supposed, hut a Borderer, and his nam* 
Is pronounced Broom, from Trent to Tay : — So be it. 

* T ought to apologize to the worthy deities for introducing a new goddess with short 
petticoats to their notice : but alas ! what was to be done ? I could not say Caledonia's 
genius, it being well known therj *,s no genius to be found from Clackmannan to Caith- 
ness ; yet without supernatural agency, how was Jeffrey to be saved ? The national 
" kelpies," Ac. are too unpoetical, and the " brownies " and " gude neighbours " (spirits 
of % good disposition) refused to extricate him. A goddess, therefore, has been called fo» 
the purpose, and great ought to be the gratitude of Jeffrey, seeing it is the only commu- 
nication he ever held, or is likely to hold, with anythiag heavenly. 

I Marquis of Lansdowne. 

§ Lord H. has translated some specimens of Lope de Vega, inserted in his life of the 
author : both are bepraised by his disinterested guests. 

(( Certain it is, her ladyship is suspected of having displayed her matchless wit in the 
" Edinburgh Review." However that may be, we know, from good authority, that ths 
manuscripts are submitted to her perusal — no doubt for correction. 

% In the melo-drama of " Tekeli," that heroic prince is okipt into a barrel on tie 
stage ; a new asylum for distressed heroes. 

•* Thomas Dibclin, author of " The Cabinet," " English Fleet," " Mother Goes©," Ht> 
jce of the great English lyrist. 




102 



BYRON'S POEMS. 



Though now, thank Heaven ! the Kosciouiamt 'e ©\jr t * 
And full-grown actors are endured once more ; 
Yet what avail their vain attempts to please, 
While British critics sufler scenes like these ? 
While Reynolds vents his "daromes!" "poohs !" &nd 

"zounds !"*|" 
And common-place and common sense confound* ? 
While Kenney's + " World " just suffer'd oo proceed, 
Proclaims the aiu.ience very kind indeed ! 
And Beaumont's pilfer'd Caratach affords 
A tragedy complete in all but words ? § 
Who but must mourn, while these are all the rag - ©, 
The degradation of our vaunted stage ? 
Heavens ! is all sense of shame, and talent gone ? 
Have we no living bard of merit ? — none ? 
Awake, George Colman ! Cumberland, awake ! 
King the alarum-bell ! let folly quake ! 
Oh, Sheridan ! if aught can move thy pen, 
Let Comedy resume her throne again ; 
Abjure the mummery of German schools, 
Leave new Pizarros to translating fools ; 
Give, as thy last memorial to the age, 
One classic drama, and reform the stage. 
Gods ! o'er those boards shall FoI!y rear her head, 
Where Garrick trod, and Kemble lives to tread ? 
On those shall Farce display Buffoon'ry's mask, 
And Hook conceal his heroes in a cask ? 
Shall sapient managers new scenes produce 
From Cherry, Skemngton, and Mother Goose ? 
While Shakspeare, Otway, Massinger, forgot, 
On stalls most moulder, or in closets rot? 
Lo ! with what pomp the daily prints proclaim 
The rival candidates for Attic fame ! 
In grim array though Lewis' spectres rise, 
Still Skeffington and Goose divide the prize. 
And sure grtai Skemngton must claim our praise, 
For skirtless coats and skeletons of plays 
Renown 'd alike ; whose genius ne'er confines 
Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs ;|| 
Nor sleeps with "Sleeping Beauties,' but anon 
In five facetious acts comes thundering on,^j 
While poor John Bull, bewilder'd with the scene, 
Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean ; 
But as some hands applaud — a venal few — 
Rather than sleep, why John applauds it too. 

• Master Betty had tna»le his fortune, and was gone to school, a* a boy ot his >J» 
itcul.t. 

t All these are favourite egressions of Mr. &., and prominent Id his comedies, h.-tuf 
nd defunct. 

' Author of the excellent farce of " Raising the Wind," and other clever pieces. 

$ Mr. T. Sheridan, the new manager of Drury Lane Theatre, stripped the tragedy 3* 
" Bouduca" of Uie dialogue, ami exhibited the scene* as the spectacle of Caractarns 
Was this worthy of his sire ? or of himself t 

I Mr. Greenwood Is, we believe, scene-painter to Drury Lane theatre — as such. Mi. &. 
Is much Indebted to li'iu 

•J Mr. S. Is the Ulustrious author of the " Sleeping Beauty ;" and some comedlee, porU' 
QUtrly " Maids and Bachelors r" Baccalauxti baculo marts quam muxv digni. 



♦O 



ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 103 

Such are we now. Ah ! wherefore should we turn. 
To what our lathers were, unless to mourn ? 
Degenerate Britons ! are ye dead to shame, 
Or, kind to dulness, do you fear to blame X 
Well may the nobles of our present race 
Watch each distortion of a Naldi's face ; 
Well may they smile on Italy's buffoons, 
And worship Catalani's pantaloons,* 
Since their own drama yields no fairer trace 
Of wit than puns, of humour than grimace. 

Then let Ausonia, skill'd in every art 
To soften manners, but corrupt the heart, 
Pour her exotic follies o'er the town, 
To sanction vice, and hunt decorum down : 
Let wedded strumpets languish o'er Deshayes. 
And bless the promise which his form displays : 
While Gayton bounds before th' enraptured looks 
Of hoary marquises and stripling dukes ; 
Let high-born lechers eye the lively Presle 
Twirl her light limbs, that spurn the needless veil ; 
Let Angiolini bare her breast of snow, 
Wave the white arm, and point the pliant toe ■ 
Collini trill her love-inspiring song, 
Strain her fair neck, and charm the listening throng ! 
Raise not your scythe, suppressors of our vice 1 
Reforming saints ! too delicately nice ! 
By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save, 
No Sunday tankards foam, no barbers shave ; 
And beer undrawn, and beards unmown, display 
Your holy reverence for the Sabbath-day. 

Or, hail at once the patron and the pile 
Of vice and folly, GreviLta and Argyle '+ 
Where yon proud palace, fashion's hallow* d fane, 
Spreads wide her portals for the motley train, 
Behold the new Petronius of the day,£ 
The arbiter of pleasure and of play ! 
There the hired eunuch, the Hesperian choir, 
The melting lute, the soft lascivious lyre, 
The song from Italy, the step from France, 
The midnight orgy, and the mazy dance, 

• N Udi and Catalan! require little notice, — for the visage of the one and th» Vkry at 
(Jif ot'.er will enable us loi.g to recollect these amusing vagabond* ; besides, w. jt still 
black *nd blue from the squeeze on the first night of the lady's appearance In trousers. 

t T > prevent any blunder, such as mistaking a street for a man, I beg leave U> state 
thai it is the institution, and not the duke of that name, which is here alluded to. 

a gentleman, with whom I am slightly acquainted, lost in the Argyle Booms several 
thousand pounds at backgammon : it is but Justice to the manager in this Instance to say, 
that some degree of disapprobation was manifested ; but why are the Implement; of 
gaming allowed in a place devoted to the society of both sexes T A pleasant thing for tbfc 
wives and daughters of those who are blest or curet with such connection*, to hear the 
billiard tables rattling In one room, and the dice In another 1 That thin Is the case, ! 
myself can testify, as a late unworthy member of an Institution which materially arWU 
the morals of the higher orders, wuile the lower may not even move to the sound Uf s 
tabor and flddJe vitiiout Xht eiiance of 'uiuiciuieut Cut riotous behaviour. 

J Petronius, " Arbiter elegantlarum " to Nero, " and a very pretty fellow tn his day." 
*i fl&r (Jongreve's " Old Bachelor " anith. 



* 



W* 






rod BYRON'S POEMS. 

rhe smile of beauty, and the flush of wine, 

For fops, fools, gamesters, knaves, and lords combine : 

Each to his humour — Comus all allows ; 

Champaign, dice, music, or your neighbour's spouse. 

Talk not to us, ye starving sons of trade ! 

Oi piteous ruin, which ourselves have made ; 

In Plenty's sunshine Fortune's minions bask, 

Nor think of poverty, except " en masque," 

When for the night some lately titled ass 

Appears the beggar which his grandsire was. 

The curtain dropp'd, the gay burletta o'er, 

The audience take their turn upon the floor ; 

Now round the room the circling dow'gers sweep, 

Now in loose waltz the thin-clad daughters leap : 

The first in lengthen'd line majestic swim, 

The last display the free, unfetter'd limb ! 

Those for Hibernia's lusty sons repair 

With art the charms which nature could not spurs \ 

These after husbands wing their eager flight, 

Nor leave much mystery for the nuptial night. 

Oh ! blest retreats of infamy and ease, 
Where, all forgotten but the power to please, 
Each maid may give a loose to genial thought, 
Each swain may teach new systems, or be taught : 
There the blithe youngster, just return'd from Spaiu, 
Cuts the light pack, or calls the rattling main ; 
The jovial caster 's set, and seven 's the nick, 
Or — -done ! — a thousand on the coming trick ! 
If, mad with loss, existence 'gins to tire, 
And all your hope or wish is to expire, 
Here's Powell's pistol ready for your life, 
And, kinder still, a Paget for your wife : 
Fit consummation of an earthly race, 
Begun in folly, ended in disgrace ; 
While none but menials o'er the bed of death, 
Wash thy red wounds, or watch thy wavering breath ' 
Traduced by liars, and forgot by all, 
The mangled victim of a drunken brawl,* 
To live like Clodius, and like Falkland fall.f 

Truth ! rouse some genuine bard, and guide his oand, 
To drive this pestilence from out the land. 
E'en I — least thinking of a thoughtless throng, 
Jast skill'd to know the right and choose the vrong, 

• WtrA Falkland was killed In a duel by Captain Powell, 
f Mutato nomine cie te 
Fibula narratur. 

1 knew the late Lord Falkland well. On Sunday night I beheld him presiding »t hii 
ewij table, in all the honest pride of hospitality; on Wednesday morning, at three 
o'clock, 1 saw stretched before me all that remained of courage, feeling, and a boat of 
pR88i>ns. He was a gallant and successful officer : his faults were th« faults of a sailor ; 
w st« - h, Britons will forgive them. He dit d like a brave man in a better cause ; for had 
he fallen in like manner on the deck of the frigate to which he was just appointed, hi* 
tact tusmeuta would have been held up by his countrymen as an example to succeeding 
heroec 



<r 



<h* 



ENGLISH BARDS 6- SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 105 

Freed at that age when reason's shield is lost. 
To fight my course through passion's countless host^ 
Whom every path oi pleasure's How'ry way 
Has lured in turn, and all have led astray — 
E'en T must raise my voice, e'en I must feel 
Such scenes, such men, destroy the public weal : 
Although some kind, censorious friend will say, 
"What art thou better, meddling fool, than they? 01 
And every brother rake will smile to see 
That miracle, a moralist in me. 
No matter : when some bard in virtue strong — 
Giff'ord perchance — shall raise the chastening song, 
Then sleep my pen for ever ; and my voice 
Be only heard to hail him, and rejoice ; 
Rejoice, and yield my feeble praise, though 1 
May feel the lash that Virtue must apply. 

As for the smaller fry, who swarm in shoals, 
From silly Hafiz up to simple Bowles,* 
Why should we call them from their dark abode, 
In broad St. Giles's or in Tottenham-road ! 
Or (since some men of fashion nobly dare 
To scrawl in verse) from Bond Street or the Squar ; * 
If things of ton their harmless lays indite, 
Most wisely doom'd to shun the public sight, 
What harm ? In spite of every critic elf, 
Sir T. may read his stanzas to himself; 
Miles Andrews still his strength in couplets try, 
And live in prologues, though his dramas die. 
Lords too are bards, such things at times befall, 
And 'tis some praise in peers to write at all. 
Yet, did or taste or reason sway the times, 
Ah ! who would take their titles with their rhymes \ 
Roscommon ! Sheffield ! with your spirits fled, 
No future laurels deck a noble head ; 
No muse will cheer, with renovating smile, 
The paralytic puling of Carlisle : 
The puny schoolboy and his early lay 
Men pardon, if his follies pass away : 
But who forgives the senior's ceaseless verse, 
Whose hairs grow hoary as his rhymes grow worse ? 
What heterogeneous honours deck the peer ! 
Lord, rhymester, petit-maltre, pamphleteer !+ 
So dull in youth, so drivelling in his age, 
His scenes alone had damn'd our sinking stage; 
But managers for once cried, " Hold, enough ! ' 
Nor drugg'd their audience with the tragic stuff. 
Yet at their judgment let his lordship laugh, 
And case his volumes in congenial calf: 

~ What would be the sentiments of the Persian Anacreon, Hafiz, mould he rise from his 
•pleudid sepulchre at Sheeraz, where he reposes with Ferdousi and Sadi, the Oriental 
Homer and Catullus, and behold his name assumed by one Stott of Dromore, the moat 
Impudent and execrable of literary poachers for the daily prints. 

1 The Earl of Carlisle has lately published an eighteen-penny pamphlet on the state of 
the stage, and offers his plan for building a new theatre : it is to be hoped his lordship 
trill be permitted to bring forvar4 anything for the aUga — except his o\rn tragedies. 



~e 



1 06 B } R ON ' S POEMS. 

Yes ! doff that covering 1 , where morocco shines, 
And hang a calf-skin on those recreant lines.* 

With you, ye Druids ! rich in native lead, 
Who daily scribble for your daily bread ; 
With you I war not : Gifford's heavy hand 
Has crush'd, without remorse, your numerous band. 
On "all the talents" vent your venal spleen; 
Want is your plea, let pity be your screen. 
Let monodies on Fox regale your crew, 
And Melville's Mantle prove a blanket too. 
One common Lethe waits each hapless bard, 
And, peace be with you ! 'tis your best reward. 
Such damning fame as Dunciads only give, 
Could bid your lines beyond a morning live ; 
But now at once your fleeting labours clos«, 
With names of greater note in blest repos*. 
Far be't from me unkindly to upbraid 
The lovely Rosa's prose in masquerade, 
Whose strains, the faithful echoes of her mind, 
Leave wondering comprehension far behind. •*" 
Though Bell has lost his nightingales and owls, 
Matilda snivels still, and Hafiz howls ; 
And Crusca's spirit, rising from the dead, 
Revives in Laura, Quiz, and X. Y.Z.J 

When some brisk youth, the tenant of a stall, 
Employs a pen less pointed than his awl, 
Leaves his snug shop, forsakes his store of shoes, 
St. Crispin quits, and cobbles for the muse, 
Heavens ! how the vulgar stare ! how crowds applaud I 
How ladies read, and literati laud ! 
If chance some wicked wag should pass his jest, 
'Tis sheer ill-nature — don't the world know best \ 
Genius must guide when wits admire the rhyme, 
And Capel Lofft declares 'tis quite sublime. § 
Hear, then, ye happy sons of needless trade ! 
Swains ! quit the plough, resign the useless spade ! 
Lo ! Burns and Bloomfield, nay, a greater far, 
Gifford was born beneath an adverse star, 
Forsook the labours of a servile state, 
Stemm'd the rude storm, and triumph'd over fate : 
Then why no more ? if Phcebus smiled on you, 
Bloomfield ! why not on brother Nathan too ? 

• . " Doff that lion's hide, 

And hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs." — 8e*ks. King Jehti. 
Lor* C'i work* moat resplendency bound, form a conspicuous ornament to hi* boob 
shelves. 

" The rest la all but leather and prnneUa." 

t This lively little Jessica, the daughter of the noted Jew K , seems to be a follow* 

of the DeUa Crusca school, and has published two volumes of very respectable absurditia: 
[1. rhyme, as times go ; besides sundry novels In the style of the drat edition of" Tic 
Monk." 

I These are the signatures of various worthies who figure In the poetical departments of 
the newspapers. 

§ Capel Lofft, Esq., the Maecenas of shoemakers, and preface-writer-general to dis- 
tressed versemen ; a kind cf gratis accoucheur to those who wish to b# delivered of rbyn>* 
but do not know how to bring for'h. 



•&- 



4 



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ENGLISH BARDS & SCO J CM REVIEWERS. 107 

Him too the mania, not the muse, has seized ; 

Not inspiration, hut a mind diseased : 

And uow no boor can seek his last abode, 

No common be inclosed, without an ode.* 

Oh ! since increased refinement deigns to smile 

On Britain's sons, and bless our genial isle. 

Let poesy go forth, pervade the whole, 

Alike the rustic and mechanic soul. 

Ye tuneful cobblers ! still your notes prolong, 

Compose at once a slipper and a song ; 

So shall the fair your handiwork peruse, 

Your sonnets sure shall please — perhaps your shoe*" 

May Moorland weavers boast Pindaric skill, t 

And tailors' lays be longer than their bill ! 

While punctual beaux reward the grateful notes, 

And pay for poems — when they pay for coats. 

To the famed throng now paid the tribute duo, 
Neglected genius ! let me turn to you. 
Come forth, Campbell ! give thy talents scope ;J 
Who dares aspire if thou must cease to hope ? 
And thou, melodious Rogers ! rise at last, 
Recall the pleasing memory of the past ; 
Arise ! let blest remembrance still inspire, 
And strike to wonted tones thy hallow'd lyre ; 
Restore Apollo to his vacant throne, 
Assert thy country's honour and thine own. 
What ! must deserted poesy still weep 
Where her last hopes with pious Cowper sleep ? 
Unless, perchance, from his cold bier she turns 
To deck the turf that wraps her minstrel, Burns ! 
No ! though contempt hath mark'd the spurious brood. 
The race who rhyme from folly, or for food, 
Yet still some genuine sons 'tis hers to boast, 
Who, least affecting, still affect the most : 
Feel as they write, and write but as they feel — 
Bear witness Gifford, Sotheby, Macneil.§ 

1 ' Why slumbers Gifford V once was ask'd in vain ! |[ 
Why slumbers Gifford ? let us ask again. 
Are there no follies for his pen to purge ? 
Are there no fools whose backs demand the scourge ? 
Are there no sint for satire's bard to greet ? 
Stalks not gigantic Vice in every street ? 

• See Nathaniel Bloomfi eld's ode, elegy, or whatever he or any one ah e chooeM W cvl) 
j, on the inclosure of" Honington Green." 

f Vide " RaeolleCS^ns of a Weaver in the Moorlands of Staffordshire." 

J It would be superfluous to recall to the mind of the reader the authors of " The 
Pleasures of Memory " and " The Pleasures of Hope," the most beautiful didactic poeme 
in our language, if we except Pope's " Essay on Man ;" but so many poetasters have 
started up, that even the names of Campbell and Rogers become strange. 

§ Gifford, author of the '* Baviad and Masviad," the first satires of the day, and (jtlm- 
lator of Juvenal. 

Sotheby, translator of Wieland's " Oberon " and Virgil's " Georgics," and auUiu>«>ef 
" Saul," an epic poem, \ 

IKIacneil, whose poems are deservedly popular ; particularly " Scotland's Scaith, or the 
Waes if War," of which ten thousand copies were sold in one month. 

|| Mr. Gifford promised publicly that the " Baviad and Maeviad " should not be Ma laasl 
arigi ual works ; let htm remember " Moz in relnctantes dr&cosies.." 



io8 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Shall peers or princes tread pollution's path, 
And 'scape alike the law's and muse's wrath ? 
Nor blaze with guilty glare through future time^ 
Eternal beacons of consummate crime ? 
Arouse thee, Gifford ! be thy promise claim' d, 
Make bad men better, or at least ashamed. 

Unhappy White ! whilo life was in its spring,* 
And thv young muse just waved her joyous wiug, 
The spoiler came ; and all thv oromise fair 
Has sought the grave, to sleep for evrr ther9. 
Oh ! what a noble heart was here undone, 
When Science' self destroy' d her favourite son ! 
Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit, 
She sow'd the seeds, but death has reap'd the fruiU 
'Twas thine own genius gave the fina 5 blow, 
And help'd to plant the wound that laid thee low : 
So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain, 
No more through rolling clouds to soar again, 
View'd his own feather on the fatal dart, 
And wing'd the shaft that quiver'd in his heart ; 
Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel, 
He nursed the pinion which impel I'd the steel ; 
While the same plumage that had warm'd his nest, 
Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast, t 

There be, who say, in these enlighten'd days, 
That splendid lies are all the poet's praise ; 
That strain'd invention, ever on the wing, 
Alone impels the modern bard to sing : 
Tis true, that all who rhyme — nay, all who write. 
Shrink from that fatal word to genius — trite ; 
Yet truth will sometimes lend her noblest fires. 
And decorate the verse herself inspires : 
This fact in Virtue's name let Crabbe attest ; 
Though nature's sternest painter, yet the best. 

And here let Shee and genius find a place,^ 
Whose pen and pencil yield an equal grace : 
To guide whose hands the sister arts combine, 
And trace the poet's or the painter's fine ; 
Whose magic touch can bid the canvas glow, 
Or pour the easy rhyme's harmonious Sow, 
While honours, doubly merited, attend 
The poet's rival, but the painter's friend. 

Blest is the man who dares approach the bower 
Where dwelt the muses at their natal hour ; 

Henry Kirke White died at Camtiridge, In October, 1806, in consequence of to* much 
rtioa i» the pursuit of studies that would have matured a mind which disease wid 
poverty could not impair, and which death itself destroyed rather than subdued. His 
poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest regret that *o 
short a period was allotted to talents which would have dignified even the tacred fuxjctions 
hn wns destined to assume. 

f This is one of the finest Images in all Lord Byron's works : whether quit* originally 
hie own I will not ke bound to say. 
I Mr. Shee, author of " Kb vmes on Art," and " Elements of Art." 



i 



*6^* 



ENGLt'SH BARDS 6- SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 109 

Whose steps have press'd, whose eye has mark'd afar, 
The clime that nursed the sods 01 s<sng and war, 
The scenes which glory still must hover o'er, 
Her place of birth, her own Achaian shore. 
But doubly blest is he, whose heart expands 
With hallow'd feelings for those classic lands ; 
Who rends the veil of ages long gone by, 
And views their remnants with a poet's eye. 
Wright !* 'twas thy happy lot at onco to viev/ 
Those shores of glory, and to sing them toe ; 
And sure no common muse inspired thy pen 
To hail the laud of gods and godlike men. 

And you, associate bards ! who snatch'd to lightt 
Those gems too long withheld from modern sight ; 
Whose mingling taste combined to cull the wreath 
Where Attic flowers Aonian odours breathe, 
And all their renovated fragrance flung, 
To grace the beauties of your native tongue ; 
Now let those minds, that nobly could transfuse 
The glorious spirit of the Grecian muse, 
Though soft the echo, scorn a borrow 'd tone : 
Resign Achaia's lyre, and strike your own. 

Let these, or such as these, with just applause, 
Restore the muse's violated laws ; 
But not in flimsy Darwin's pompous chime, 
That mighty master of unmeaning rhyme ; 
Whose gilded cymbals, more adora'd than clear, 
The eye delighted, but fatigued the ear ; 
In show the simple lyre could once surpass, 
But now, worn down, appear in native brass ; 
While all his train of hovering sylphs around 
Evaporate in similes and sound : 
Him let them shim, with him let tinsel die : 
False glare attracts, but more offends the eye.J 

Yet let them not to vulgar Wordsworth stoop, 
The meanest object of the lowly group, 
Whose verse, of all but childish prattle void, 
Seems blessed harmony to Lambe and Lloyd :§ 
Let them — but hold, my muse, nor dare to teach 
A strain, far, far beyond thy humble reach : 
The native genius with their being given 
Will point the path, and peal their notes to heaven. 

And thou too, Scott, || resign to minstrels rude 
The wilder slogan of a border feud : 

• Mr. Wright, late consul-general for the Seven Islands, is author of a very beautiful 
poem just published : it is entitled " Horse Ionicae," and is descriptive of the isles and 
(/Ijaoent coast of Greece. 

t The translators of the " Anthology " have since published separate poems, which 
Hince genius that only requires opportunity to attain eminence. 

1 The neglect of the " Botanic Garden " is some proof of returning taste : the icesieiy 
U its sole recommendation. 

5 Messrs. Lambe and Lloyd, the most ignoble followers of Southey and Co. 

t By the bye, I hope that in Mr. Scott's next poem, his hero or heroine will be less 
Wdicfed to " Gramarye," and more to «rammar, than the Lady of the le,y, and het 
tire William of Deloraine. 

r >&♦ 



—*£ 



no 



BYROADS POEMS. 



Let others spin their meagre lines for hire , 

Enough for genius, if itself inspire ! 

Let Southey sing, although his teeming muse, 

Prolific every spring, be too profuse ; 

Let simple Wordsworth chime his childish vers«, 

A.nd brother Coleridge lull the babe at nurse ; 

Let spectre-mongering Lewis aim, at most, 

To rouse the galleries, or to raise a ghost ; 

Let Moore be lewd : let Strangford steal from M(jcro> 

And swear that Camoens sang such notes of yore ; 

Let Hayley hobble on ; Montgomery rave ; 

And godly Grahame chant a stupid stave ; 

Let sonneteering Bowles his strains refine, 

And whine and whimper to the fourteenth line ; 

Let Stott, Carlisle, Matilda, and the rest* 

Of Grub Street, and of Grosvenor Place the best, 

Scrawl on, till death release us from the strain. 

Or Common Sense assert her rights again. 

But thou, with powers that mock the aid of praise, 

Shouldst leave to humbler bards ignoble lays : 

Thy country's voice, the voice of all the nine, 

Demand a hallow'd harp — that harp is thine. 

Say ! will not Caledonia's annals yield 

The glorious record of some nobler field, 

Than the wild foray of a plundering clan, 

Whose proudest deeds disgrace the name of man? 

Or Marmion's acts of darkness, fitter food 

For outlaw'd Sherwood's tales of Robin Hood ? 

Scotland ! still proudly claim thy native bard, 

And be thy praise his firet, his best reward ! 

Yet not with thee alone his name should live, 

But own the vast renown a world can give ; 

Be known, perchance, when Albion is no more, 

And tell the tale of what she was before ; 

To future times her faded fame recall, 

And save her glory, though his country fall. 

• It may be asked why I have censured the Earl of Carlisle, my guardian and ivlf.tlve, 
to whom 1 dedicated a volume of puerile poems a few years ago. The guardianship wa§ 
nominal, at least as far as I have been able to discover ; the relationship I cannot help, 
and am very sorry for It ; but as his lordship seemed to forget it on a very easeTituvl 
invasion te me, I shall not burden my memory with the recollection. I do not thiLk 
tn&t personal differences sanction the unjust condemnation of a brother scribbler ; but I 
see no reason why they should act as a preventive, when the author, noble or ignobW, 
has, for a series of years, beguiled a " discerning public " (as the advertisements have it) 
with divers reams of most orthodox, Imperial nonsense. Besides, I do not step asde i» 
vituperate the earl ; no — his works come fairly in review with those of other patrician 
literati. If, before I escaped from my teens, I said anything in favour of his loidsiiip'i 
paper books, it was In the way of dutiful dedication, and more from tht advice of others 
than my own Judgment, and I seize the first opportunity of pronouncing my sincere 
recantation. I have heard that some persons conreive me to be under obligations tc Loro 
Carlisle ; if so, I shall be most particularly happy to learn what they are, and when 
conferred, that they may be duly appreciat. d, and publicly acknowledged. What I have 
humbly advanced as an opinu>D on his printed things, I am prepared to support, if neces- 
sary, by quotations from elegies, eulogies, odes, episodes, and certain factious and 
iainty tragedies bearing bis name and mark : — 

" What can ennoble knaves, or /ooI#, or cowards I 
Alas 1 not all the blood of all the fiowalds 1 " 
So says Pope. Amen 1 



4>- 



4 



> 



«> 



ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS, ill 

Yet what avails the sanguine poet's hope, 
To conquer ages, and with time to cope? 
New eras spread their wings, new nations rise, 
And other victors fill the applauding skies ;* 
A few brief generations fleet along, 
Whose sons forget the poet and his song : 
E'en now, what once-loved minstrels scarce may claim 
The trarsient mention of a dubious name ! 
When fame's loud trump hath blown its noblest blast, 
Though long the sound, the echo sleeps at last ; 
And glory, like the phoenix 'midst her fires, 
Exhales her odours, blazes, and expires. 

Shall hoary Granta call her sable sons, 
Expert in science, more expert at puns ( 
Shall these approach the muse? ah, no ! she flies, 
And even spurns the great Seatonian prize ; 
Though printers condescend the press to soil 
With rhyme by Hoare, and epic blank by Hoyle : 
Not him whose page, if still upheld by whist, 
Requires no sacred theme to bid us list.t 
Ye ! who in Granta's honours would surpass, 
Must mount her Pegasus, a full-grown ass ; 
A foal well worthy of her ancient dam, 
Whose Helicon is duller than her Cam. 

There Clarke, still striving piteously " to please," 
Forgetting doggrel leads not to degrees, 
A would-be satirist, a hired buffoon, 
A monthly scribbler of some low lampoon, 
Comdemn'd to drudge, the meanest of the mean, 
And furbish falsehoods for a magazine, 
Devotes to scandal his congenial mind ; 
Himself a \iving libel on mankind. X 

Oh ! dark asylum of a Vandal race ! § 
At once the boast of learning, and disgrace ; 
So sunk in dulness, and so lost to shame, 
That Smythe and Hodgson scarce redeem thy fame ! ([ 
But where fair Isis rolls her purer wave, 
The partial muse delighted loves to lave ; 
On her green banks a greener wreath is wove, 
To crown the bards that uaunt her classic grove ; 

• " Tollere taumo, victorque virum volitare per ora." — Virqh. 

t The " Games of Hoyle," well known to the votaries of whist, chess, 4c, are not to 
d« superseded by the vagaries of his poetical namesake, whose poem comprised, aa ts- 
pisssly stated in the advertisement, all the " plagues of Egypt." 

J This [lerson, who has lately betrayed the most rabid symptoms of confirmed author- 
»bip, is writer of a poem denominated the " Art of Pleasing," as " lucus a non luoendn " 
containing little pleasantry, and less poetry. He also acts as monthly stipendiary and 
collector of calumnies for the " Satirist." If this unfortunate young man would exchange 
the magazines for the mathematics, and endenvour to take a decent degree in his univer- 
iity, it mlgnt eventually prove more Kerviceable than his present salary. 

§ " Into Cambridgeshire the emperor Probus transported a considerable body ctf 
Vandals." — Gibbon's " Decline and Fall," vol. ii. page 83. There is no reason to doubt 
the truth of this assertion ; the breed is still in high perfection. 

( Mr. Hodgson's name requires no praise ; the man who in translation displays unques- 
tionable genius, may well be expected to excel In original composition, of which it is io 
bt hoysd we shall soon tee a gpjendid specimen. 



u 




H2 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Where Richards wakes a genuine poet's fires, 
And modem Britons justly praise their sir6*.* 

For me, who, thus unask'd, have dared to tell 
My oountry, what her sons should know too weii, 
Zeal for her honour bade me here engage 
The host of idiots that infest her age ; 
No just applause her honour'd name shall lose, 
As first in freedom, dearest to the muse. 
Oh ! would thy bards but emulate thy fame, 
And rise more worthy, Albion, of thy name ! 
What Athens was in science, Rome in power, 
What Tyre appear'd in her meridian hour, 
'Tis thine at once, fair Albion ! to have been — 
Earth's chief dictatress, ocean's mighty queen : 
But Rome decay'd, and Athens strew'd the plain, 
And Tyre's proud piers lie shatter'd in the main : 
Like these, thy strength may sink, in ruin hurl'd, 
And Britain fall, the bulwark of the world. 
But let me cease, and dread Cassandra's fate,1* 
With warning ever scoff'd at, till too late ; 
To tnemes less lofty still my lay confine, 
And urge thy bards to gain a name like thine. 

Then, hapless Britain ! be thy rulers blest, 
The senate's oracles, thy people's jest, 
Still hear thy motley orators dispense 
The flowers of rhetoric, though not of sense, 
While Canning's colleagues hate him for his wit, 
And old dame Portland X fills the place of Pitt. 

Yet once again, adieu ! ere this the sail 
That wafts me hence is shivering in the gale ; 
And Afric's coast and Calpe's adverse height. § 
And Stain boul's || minarets must greet my sight : 
Thence shall I stray through beauty's native clime. ^J 
Where Kaff** is clad in rocks, and crown'd with snows sublicaek 
But should I back return, no letter'd rage 
Shall drag my common-place book on the stage. 
Let vain Valentiaft rival luckless Carr, 
And equal him whose work he sought to mar ; 
Let Aberdeen and Elgin*:; still purwue 
The shade of fame througti regions of virtu ; 

• The " Aboriginal Britons," an excellent poem by Richards. 

1 The mad, prophetic daughter of Priam, whose predictions were never believe* 

I A friend of mine being asked why his Grace of P. was likened to an old woaau 1 
replied, " he supposed it was because he was past bearing." 

$ Calpe is the ancient name of Gibraltar. 

j Stamboul is the Turkish word for Constantinople. 

*j Georgia, remarkable for the beauty of its inhabitants. 

'• Mount Caucasus. 

•f Lord Valentia (whose tremendous travel* are forthcoming with due decoration*, 
graphical, topographical, and typographical) deposed, on Sir John C.irr's unlucky suit, 
tiiat Dubois's satire prevented his purchase of the " Stranger in Ireland." — Oh, He, u<j 
lord ! has your lordship no more feeling for a fellow-tourist t " But two ol a trade, " 
they say, Sic. 

n Lord Elgin would fain persuade us that all the figures, with and without dumc, In 
bu itoueshop, are the work of Phidias .' " Crtiit Juckeus :" 



< 



<> 



ENGLISH BARDS & SCOTCH REVIEWERS. 113 

Wivsto useless thousands on thoir Phidian freaks, 
Misshapen monuments and maim'd antiques ; 
And make their grand saloons a general mart 
For all the mutilated blocks of art. 
Of Dardan tours let dilettanti tell, 
I leave topography to classic Gell ;* 
And, quite content, no more shall interpose 
To stun mankind with poesy or prose. 

Thus far I've held my undisturb'd career, 
Prepared for rancour, steel'd 'gainst selfish fear ; 
This thing of rhyme I ne'er disdain'd to own — 
Though nor, obtrusive, yet not quite unknown, 
My voice was heard again, though not so loud, 
My page, though nameless, never disavow'd ; 
And now at once I tear the veil away : — 
Cheer on the pack — the quarry stands at bay, 
Unscared by all the din of Melbourne House, 
By Lambe's resentment, or by Holland's spouse, 
By Jeffrey's harmless pistol, Hallani's rage, 
Edina's brawny sons and brimstone page. 
Our men in buckram shall have blows enough, 
And feel they too " are penetrable stuff :" 
And though I hope not hence unscathed to go, 
Who conquers me shall find a stubborn foe. 
The time hath been, when no harsh sound would fall 
From lips that now may seem imbued with gall ; 
Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise 
The meanest thing that crawl'd beneath my eyea ; 
But now, so callous grown, so changed since youth, 
I've learn'd to think, and sternly speak the truth ; 
Learn'd to deride the critic's starch decree, 
And break him on the wheel he meant for me ; 
To spurn the rod a scribbler bids me kiss, 
Nor care if courts and crowds applaud or hiss ; 
Nay more, though all my rival rhymesters frown, 
I, too, can hunt a poetaster down ; 
And, arm'd in proof, the gauntlet cast at on^e 
To Scotch marauder, and to southern dunce. 
Thus much I've dared to do ; how far my lay 
Hath wrong'd these righteous times, let others say : 
This, let the world, which knows not how to spare, 
Yet rarely blames unjustly, now declare. 

• Mr. Gell's " Topography of Troy and Ithaca " cannot fail to insure the apprcbatloo 6 
rvery man possessed of classical taste, as well for the information Mr. G. convey* t*" thp 
mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respective works display. 



*-H4 



114 BYRON'S POEMS. 



POSTSCRIPT. 

I have been Informed, since the present edition went to the press, thaf 
my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are pre- 
paring a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, 
whom they have already so bedevilled with their ungodly ribaldry : 

• Tantaene anirnls caelestibus ime ! " 
I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecneek saith, " An I had 
known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned ere I had 
fought him." What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus 
before the next number has passed the Tweed. But I yet hope to light 
my pipe with it in Persia. 

My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality 
towards their great literary Anthropophagus, Jeffrey ; but what else was 
to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by " lying and slander- 
jig," and slake their thirst by " evil speaking?" I have adduced facta 
already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, 
nor has he thence sustained any injury ; — what scavenger was ever soiled 
by being pelted with mud ? It may be said that I quit England because I 
have censured there " persons of honour and wit about town;" but I am 
coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my return. 
Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are 
very different from fears, literary or personal ; those who do not, may one 
day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not 
been concealed ; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my 
transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels ; but, alas ! 
" the age of chivalry is over," or in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit 
nowadays. 

There is a youth yclept Hewson Clarke (subaiidi, Esquire) a Sizer of 
Emanuel College, and 1 believe a denizen of Berwick-upon-Tweed, whom 
I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he lias 
been accustomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and 
for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear 
kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy oi 
his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, 
and what is worse, the defenceless innocent above mentioned, in the 
" Satirist," for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of 
having given him any provocation ; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard 
his name till coupled with the " Satirist." He has therefore no reason to 
complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased 
than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour 
to notice me and mine, that is, my ear band my book, except the editor 
of the " Satirist," who, it seems, is a gentleman, God wot ! I wish he 
could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear 
that Mr. Jerningham is about to take up the cudgels for his Maecenas, 
Lord Carlisle. I hope not : he was one of the few, in the very short inter- 
course I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy ; and what- 
ever he may say or do, *' pour on, I will endure." I have nothing furthel 
to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purehasera, and 
publisher ; and in the words of Scott, I wish 

" To all and each a fair good night, 
And roc}' dre»uis *r>d slumbers light." 



^ 



**• 



TO FLORENCE. 



"5 



LINES WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM AT MALTA. 

As o'er the oold sepulchral stone 

Some name arrests the passer by ; 
Thus,* when thou view'st this page alone, 

May mine attract thy pensive eye ! 

And when by thee that name is rep.d, 
Perchance in some succeeding year, 

Reflect on me as on the dead, 

And think my heart is buried here. 

September 14, 1800 



TO FLORENCE. 

OH Lady ! when I left the shore, 

The distant shore which gave me birth* 

I hardly thought to grieve once more, 
To quit another spot on earth : 

Yet here, amidst this barren isle, 

Where panting Nature droops the head, 

Where only thou art seen to smile, 
I view my parting hour with dread. 

Though far from Albin's craggy shore, 

Divided by the dark blue main, 
A few, brief, rolling seasons o'er, 

Perchance I view her cliffs again : 

But wheresoe'er I now may roam, 

Thiough scorching clime and varied sea, 

Though Time restore me to my home, 
I ne'er shall bend mine eyes on thee : 

On thee, in whom at once conspire 

All charms, which heedless hearts can move. 
Whom but to see is to admire, 

And, oh 1 forgive the word — to love. 

Forgive the word, in one who ne'er 
With such a word can more offend ; 

And since thy heart I cannot share, 
Believe me, what I am, thy friencL 

And who so cold as look on thee, 
Thou lovely wand'rer, and be less ? 

Nor be, what man should ever be, 
The friend of beauty in distress ? 

Ah ! "who would think that form had pass'd 
Through Danger's most destructive path, 

Had braved the death-wing'd tempest's blast- 
And 'scaped a tyrant's fiercer wrath \ 
I 2 



4- 



4- 



1 1 6 BORON'S POEMS. 

Lady ! when I shall view the wallc 

Where free Byzantium once arose, 
And Stamboul's Oriental halls 

The Turkish tyrants new inclose ; 

Though mightiest in the lists of fame, 

That glorious city still shall be ; 
On me 'twill hold a dearer claim, 

As spot of thy nativity : 

And though I bid thee now farewell, 
When I behold that wondrous scene, 

Since where thou art I may not dwell, 
'Twill soothe to be where tbou hast been. 

SepUinbei, 190% 



STANZAS 

0OKPO3ED DURING A THUNDER-STORM, AND WniLE BEWILDERED 
NEAR MOUNT PINDUS, IN ALBANIA. 

Chill and mirk is the nightly blast, 

Where Pindus' mountains rise, 
And angry clouds are pouring fast 

The vengeance of the skies. 

Our guides are gone, our hope is lost, 

And lightnings, as they play, 
But show where rocks our path have eroee'd 

Or gild the torrent's spray. 

Is yon a cot I saw, though low ? 

When lightning broke the gloom — 
How welcome were its shade ! — ah, no ! 

Tis but a Turkish tomb. 

Through sounds of foaming waterfalls, 

I hear a voice exclaim — 
My way-worn countryman, who calls 

On distant England's name. 

A shot is fired — by foe or friend T 

Another — 'tis to tell 
The mountain-peasants to descend, 

And lead us where they dwell. 

Oh ! who in such a night will dare 

To tempt the wilderness ? 
And who mid thunder-peals can hear • 

Our signal of distress ? 

And who that heard our shouts would rlee 

To try the dubious road ? 
Nor rather deem from nightly ones 

That outlaws were abroad. 



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f Q 



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STANZAS. H7 

Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour ! 

More fiercely pours the storm ! 
Yet here one though* has still the power 

To keep my bosom jrarm. 

While wand'ring through eaoh broken path* 

O'er brake and craggy brow ; 
While elements exhaust their wrath, 

Sweet Florence, where art thou I 

Not on the sea, not on the sea, 

Thy bark hath long been gone : 
Oh, may the storm that pours on me, 

Bow down my head alone ! 

Full swiftly blew the swift Siroc, 

When last I press'd thy lip ; 
And long ere now, with foaming shock, 

Impell'd thy gallant ship. 

Now thou art safe ; nay, long ere now 

Hast trod the shore of Spain ; 
'Twere hard if aught so fair as thou 

Should linger on the main. 

And since I now remember thee 

In darkness and in dread, 
As in those hours of revelry 

Which mirth and music sped ; 

Do thou, amid the fair white walls, 

If Cadiz yet be free, 
At times, from out her latticed halls, 

Look o'er the dark blue sea ; 

Then think upon Calypso's isles, 

Endear' d by days gone by ; 
To others give a thousand smiles, 

To me a single sigh. 

And when the admiring circle mark 

The paleness of thy face, 
A halt-form'd tear, a transient spark 

Of melancholy grace, 

Again thou'lt smile, and blushing shun 

Some coxcomb's raillery ; 
Nor own for once thou thought's^ on OE&. 

Who ever thinks on thee. 

Tnough smile and sigh alike are vain, 

When sever'd hearts repine, 
My spirit flies o'er mount and main, 

And mourns in search of thine. 



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118 BYRON'S POEMS. 

STANZAS 

WRITTEN ON PASSING THB AMBRACIAN GULP.* 

Through cloudless skies, in silvery sheen. 
Full beams the moon on Actium's coast ; 

And on these waves, for Egypt's queen, 
The ancient world was won and lost. 

And now upon the scene I look, 
The azure grave of many a Roman , 

Where stern ambition once forsook 
His wavering crown to follow woman. 

Florence ! whom I will love as well 

As ever yet was said or sung, 
(Since Orpheus sang his spouse from hell), 

Whilst thou art fair and I am young ; 

Sweet Florence ! those were pleasant times, 
When worlds were staked for ladies' eyes : 

Had bards as many realms as rhymes, 
Thy charms might raise new Antonies. 

Though Fate forbids such things to be, 
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curl'd ! 

I cannot lose a world for thee, 
But would not lose thee for a world. 

N*v.mber 14. 190A. 



THE SPELL IS BROKE, THE CHARM IS FLOWN I 

WRITTEN AT ATHENS, JANUARY 16, 1810. 

The spell is broke, the charm is flown ! 

Thus is it with life's fitful fever : 
We madly smile when we should groan ; 

Delirium is our best deceiver. 

Each lucid interval of thought 

Recalls the woes of Nature's charter. 
And he that acts as wise men ought, 

But lives, as saints have died, a martyr. 

• The lady referred to In this and the two following pieces — the wife of icr. Spcnoec 
Smith, and daughter of Baron Herbert, Austrian ambassador at Constantinople, where 
»he was born — was a very remarkable person, and experienced a variety of striking 
adventure*. She was unhappy in her marriage, yet of unblemished reputation ; had 
engaged In some plots against Bonaparte, which excited his vengeance; was m»>i< 
prisoner, but subsequently escaped ; afterwards suffered shipwreck — and all before she 
was twenty-five years of age. The poet met her at U.tlta, on her way to England to join 
Uer husband ; and these poems. Mid a reference to hex In " Childe Harold, " trt- meinc* 
rial* of their brief ocqusisloaoe. 



"I 



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MAID OF ATHENS, ERE WE PART. 119 



LINES WRITTEN IN THE TRAVELLERS' BOOK AT 
ORCHOMENUS. 

IN THIS BOOK A TRAVELLER HAD WRITTEN : — 

" Faik Albion, smiling, sees her son depart. 
To trace the birth and nursery of art : 
Noble his object, glorious is his aim ; 
He comes to Athena, and h« writes his name 1" 

BENEATH WHICH LORD BYRON INSERTED THE FOLLOWING :— 

The modest bard, like many a bard unknown, 
Rhymes on our names, but wisely hides his own ; 
But yet, whoe'er he be, to say no worse, 
His name would bring more credit than his versa. 



MAID OF ATHENS, ERE WE PART. 

Z<ti»j nov, ads ayanui. 

Maid of Athens, ere we part, 
Give, oh, give me back my heart I 
Or, since that has left my breast, 
Keep it now, and take the rest ! 
Hear my vow before I go, 
Zwq fiov f <rac a'ya7rui.* 

By those tresses unconfined, 
Woo'd by each ^Egean wind ; 
By those lids whose jetty fringe 
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tingw ; 
By those wild eyes like the roe, 
Zo»?/ p*i>, odg aya7Tuu. 

By that lip I long to taste ; 

By that zone-encircled waist ; 

By all the token-flowers that tell + 

What words can never speak so well ; 

By love's alternate joy and woe, 

Zwif fiov y <rdg dycnrui. 

Maid of Athens ! I am gone : 
Think of me, sweet ! when alone 

• liumatc expression of tenderness : if I translate it, I shall affront the gentlemen, ae 
it may *eem that I supposed they could not ; and if I do not, I may affront the ladies, 
For feai oi any misconstruction on the part of the latter, I shall do so, begging pardon of 
the leamsd. It means, "My life, I love you I" which sounds very prettily in all 
languages, and is as murh in fashion in Greece at this day, as, Juvenal tells us, the two 
first word* were amongst the Roman ladies, whose erotic expressions were all HeHemzed. 

t In thr East (where ladies are not taught to write, lest they should scribble assigna- 
tions) flowers, cinders, pebbles, &c, convey the sentiments of the parties, by that 
universal deputy of Mercury — an old woman. A cinder says, " 1 burn lor thee ;" a bunch 
of flowers tied with hair, '* Take me and fly ;" but » pebble d^iclareg — what nothing 
»L)t can. 



<> 



120 BYRON'S POEMS. 



Though I fly to Istambol,* 
Athens holds my heart and soul : 
Can I cease to love thee ? No ! 
TjWT) noil, adg ayairio. 

A'heti 1816. 



WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOSTO ABYDOS.-j 

If, in the month of dark December, 

Leander, who was nightly wont 
(What maid will not the tale remember ?) 

To cross thy stream, broad Hellespout ! 

If, when the wintry tempest roar'd, 

He sped to Hero, nothing loath, 
And thus of old thy current pour'd, 

Fair Venus ! how I pity both ! 

For me, degenerate modern wretch, 
Though in the genial month of May, 

My dripping limbs I faintly stretch, 
And think I've done a feat to-day. 

But since he cross'd the rapid tide, 

According to the doubtful story, 
To woo — and — Lord knows what beside, 

And swam for Love, as I for Glory ; 

'Twere hard to say who fared the best : 

Sad mortals ! thus the gods still plague you ! 

He lost his labour, I my jest ; 

For he was drown' d, and I've the ague. 

Iua> 9, IOA 



LINES WRITTEN BENEATH A PICTURE. 

Dear object of defeated care ! 

Though now of love and thee bereft, 
To reconcile me with despair, 

Thine image and my tears are left. 

• Constantinople. 

f On the 3rd of May, 1810, while the " Salsette " (Captain Bathurst) was lying In tb« 
Dardanelles, Lieutenant Ekenhead of that frigate and the writer of these rh. vines swam 
from the European shore to the Asiatic — by tie bye, from Abydos to Sestos would hare 
been more correct. The whole distance from the place whence we started to cur landing 
on the other side, including the length we were carried by the current, was computed by 
those on board the frigate at upwards of four English miles ; though the actual breadth 
is barely one. The rapidity of the current is such that no boat can row directly across, 
and it may, in some measure, be estimated from the circumstance of the whole dist-anos 
being accomplished by one of the parties in an hour and five, and by the other in an 
hour and ten minutes. The water was extremely cold, from the melting of the mountain 
snows. About three weeks before, tn April, we had made an attempt ; but having ridden 
all the way from the Troad the same morning, and the water being of an icy chiUnest, 
xve found it necessary to postpone the completion till the frigate anchored below the 
cststles, when we swam the straits, as just stated ; entering a considerable way above tee 
European, and landing below the Asiatic, fort. Chevalier says that a young Jew swam 
the same distance for his mistress ; and Oliver mentions its having been done by a 
Neapolitan ; but our consul, Tarragona, remembered neither of these circumstances, and 
tried to dissuade us from the attempt. A number of the " Salsette's " crew wt-re known 
to have accomplished a greater distance ; and the only thing that surprised me was, that, 
ti doubts had been entertained of the truth of Leander's story, no travallsr had «v€C 
■ndcfevouxed to ascertain it* practicability. 



■b 



4- 



<*> 



TRANSLATION Of GREEK WAR SO AC !2I 

'Tis said with Sorrow Time can cope ; 

But this, I feel can ne'er be true ; 
For by the death-blow of my Hope 

My Memory immortal grew. 



TRANSLATION OF TIIE FAMOUS GREEK WAR SQNGL 

" Atvre naidet rwv 'EXX^oov.'** 

Sons of the Greeks, arise ! 

The glorious hour 's gone forth, 
And, worthy of such ties, 

Display who gave us birth. 

CHORUS. 

Sons of Greeks ! let us gpo 
In arms against the foe, 
Till the hated blood shall flow 
In a river past our feet. 

Then manfully despising 

The Turkish tyrant's yoke, 
Let your country see you rising, 

And all her chains are broke. 
Brave shades of chiefs and sages, 

Behold the coming strife ! 
Hellenes of past ages, 

Oh, start again to life ! 
At the sound of my trumpet, breaking 

Your sleep, oh, join with me ! 
And the seven-huTd city seeking,*!* 

Fight, conquer, till we're free. 

Sons of Greeks, &o. 

Sparta, Sparta, why in slumbers 

Lethargie dost thou lie ? 
Awake, and join thy numbers 

With Athens, old ally 1 
Leonidas recalling, 

That chief of ancient song. 
Who saved ye oiice from falling, 

The terrible ! the strong ! 
Who made that bold diversion 

In old Thermopylae, 
And warring with the Persian 

To keep his country free ; 
With his three hundred waging 

The battle, long he stood, 
And like a non raging, 

Expired in seas of blood. 

Sons of Greeks, &c 

The song wa» written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionize Greece. 
This translation Is as literal as the author could make it in Terse. It is o£ the same 
measure as that of the original, 
♦ Constantinople 



* 



*r 



1 22 B YRON 'S POEMS. 



TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAIC SOJG, 

" M7ren») fiet 'to - ' rr*pi/96*»* 
'flpaioTaTri Xar)<5- - />" &C* 

I ENTER thy garden of rosea, 

Beloved and fair Haidee, 
Each morning where Flora reposes, 

For surely I see her in thee. 
Oh, Lovely ! thus low I implore thee, 

Receive this fond truth from my tongue, 
Which utters its song to adore thee, 

Yet trembles for what it has sung ; 
As the branch at the bidding of Nature, 

Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree, 
IThrough her eyes., through her every feature^ 

Shines the soul of the young Haidee. 

But the loveliest garden grows hateful 

When love has abandon'd the bowers ; 
Bring me hemlock — since mine is ungrateful, 

That herb is more fragrant than flowers. 
The poison, when pour'd from the chalice, 

Will deeply embitter the bowl ; 
But when drunk to escape from thy malico, 

The draught shall be sweet to my soul. 
Too cruel ! in vain I implore thee 

My heart from these horrors to save : 
Will nought to my bosom restore thee? 

Then open the gates of the grave. 

As the chief who to combat advances 

Secure of his conquest before, 
Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances, 

Hast piereed through my heart to its cure. 
Ah, tell me, my soul ! must I perish 

By pangs which a smile would dispel ? 
Would the hope, which thou once bud'st me cheriil: 

For torture repay me too well ? 
Now sad is the garden of roses, 

Beloved but false Haidee ! 
There Flora all wither'd reposes, 

And mourns o'er thine absence with me. 

The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athcv 
of allclaose*. Their manner of singing it is l>y verses in rotation, the whule *w«fc«' 
present joining Lu th« ciiorua. The cor is plaintive tnd pretty. 



♦f~ 



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♦ 



THE CURSE OF MINERVA." 

'Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas 
Immolat, et pumuin scelerato ex sanguine suinlt."— ^■vVA tfU ffc 

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, 

Along Morea's hills the setting sun ; 

Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright, 

But one unclouded blaze of living light ; 

O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he thrown 

Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows , 

On old ^Egina's rock and Hydra's isle 

The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ; 

O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine, 

Though there his altars are no more divine. 

Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss 

Thy glorious gulf, unconquer'd Salamis ! 

Their azure arches through the long expanse, 

More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance, 

And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, 

Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heavea ; 

Till darkly shaded from the land and deep, 

Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep. 

On such an eve his palest beam he cast 
When, Athens ! here thy wisest look'd his last. 
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray, 
That closed their murder'd sage's + latest day; 
Not yet — not yet — Sol pauses on the hill, 
The precious hour of parting lingers still ; 
But sad his light to agonizing eyes, 
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes ; 
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour 
The land where Phoebus never frown'd before 4 
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron's head, 
The cup of woe was quaff 'd — the spirit fled ; 
The soul of him that scorn'd to fear or fly, 
Who lived and died as none can live or die, 

But, lo ! from high Hymettus to the plain 
The queen of night asserts her silent reign ; J 
No murky vapour, herald of the storm, 
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing k>rm» 

• This severe animadversion upon Lord Elgin for bringing to England the treasures id 
3>e Parthenon was suppressed by Lord Byron, but the opening lines are in the " Corsair." 

t Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution)., ua6 
withstanding the entreaties of his disciples to waittill the sun went down. — B. 

{ The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country ; the days i» wit*** 
ut longer, but in summer of leas duration, — S. 



124 BYRON'S POEMS. 

With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play, 
There the white column greets her grateful ray, 
And bright around, with quivering beams beset, 
Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret : 
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide, 
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide, 
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque, 
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,* 
And sad and sombre 'mid the holy calm, 
Near Theseus' fane, yon solitary palm ; 
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye ; 
And dull were his that pass'd them heedless by. 

Again the ^Egean, heard no more afar, 
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war ; 
Again his waves in milder tints unfold 
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold, 
Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle, 
That frown, where gentler ocean deigns to smile. 

As thus, within the walls of Pallas' fane,+ 
I mark'd the beauties of the land and main, 
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore, 
Whose arts and arms but live in poets' lore ; 
Oft as the matchless dome I turn'd to scan, 
Sacred to gods, but not secure from man, 
The past return'd, the present seem'd to cease, 
And glory knew no clime beyond her Greece ! 

Hours rolled along, and Dian's orb on high 
Had gain'd the centre of her softest sky; 
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod 
O'er the vain shrine of many a vanish'd god : 
But chiefly, Pallas ! thine ; when Hecate's glare, 
Check'd by thy columns, fell more sadly fair 
O'er the chill marble, where the startling tread 
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead. 
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace 
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race, 
When, lo ! a giant form before me strode, 
And Pallas hail'd me in her own abode ! 

Yes, 'twas Minerva's self ; but, ah ! how changed 
Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged ; 
Not such as erst, by her divine command, 
Her form appear'd from Phidias' plastic hand : 
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow, 
Her idle aegis borj) no Gorgon now ; 
Her nelm was dinted, and the broken lance 
Seem'd weak and shaftless e'en to mortal glance ; 
The olive branch, which still she deign'd to clasp, 
Shrunk from her touon, and withered in her grasp ; 

• The kiosk is a Turkish summer-house ; the palm is without the present wal'i* eg 
Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall Intel* 
teiies. Cephisus' stream is indeed scanty, and IU&iub has no stream at all. — B. 

t The Parthenon, or Temple of Minerva. 



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£ 



H-f-H* 



THE CURSE OF MINERVA. 125 

And, ah ! though still the brightest of the sky, 
Celestial tears bedimm'd her large blue eye ; 
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow, 
And mourn'd his mistress with a shriek of woe ! 

"Mortal !"- 'twas thus she spake — "that 61' «h of ihaine 
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name ; 
First of the mighty, foremost of the free, 
Now honour'd less by all, and least by me : 
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found. 
Seek'st thou the cause of loathing ? — look around. 
Lo ! here, despite of war and wasting fire, 
I saw successive tyrannies expire. 
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth, 
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both. 
Survey this vacant, violated fane ; 
Recount the relic?, torn that yet remain : 
These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adorn'd,* 
That Adrian rear'd when drooping Science mourn'd. 
What more I owe let gratitude attest — 
Know Alaric and Elgin did the rest. 
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came, 
The insulted wall sustains his hated name ; 
For Elgin's fame thus grateful Pallas pleads, 
Below, his name — above, behold his deeds ! 
Be ever hail'd with equal honour here 
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer : 
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none, 
But basely stole what less barbarians won. 
So when the lion quits his fell repast, 
Next prowls the wolf, the filthy jackal last : — 
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own, 
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone. 
Yet still the gods are just, and crimes are cross'd : 
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost ! 
Another name with his pollutes my shrine : 
Behold where Dian's beams disdain to shine ! 
Some retribution still might Pallas claim, 
When Venus half avenged Minerva's shame,"1° 

She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply, 
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye : 
" Daughter of Jove 1 in Britain's injured name, 
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim. 
Frown not on England ; England owns him not ; 
Athena, no ! thy plunderer was a Scot. 
Ask'st thou the difference ? From fair Phyle's towera 
Survey Boeotia ; — Caledonia 's ours. 

• Wtii& \b spoken of the city ia general, and not of the Acropolis in particular. Th% 
temple of Jupiter Olympius, by some supposed the Parthenon, was finished by Hadrian ; 
sixteen columns are standing, of the most beautiful marble architecture. — B. 

t His lordship's name, and that of one who no longer bears it, are carved conspicuously 
•n the Parthenon ; above, in a part not far distant, are the torn Ftmmuits of the ' 
rabevoa, destroyed in % v»^b attempt to remove them.— S. 



*<>< 



126 BY EON'S POEMS, 

And well I know within that bastard 1 iiui* 

Hath Wisdom's goddess never held comniaud > 

A barren soil, where Nature's germs, confined 

To stern sterility, can stint the mind ; 

Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth, 

Emblem of all to whom the land gives birth ■ 

Each genial influence nurtured to resist ; 

A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist. 

Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plrrn 

Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain. 

Till, burst at length, each watery head o'erflow.*, 

Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows. 

Then thousand schemes of petulance and prido 

Despatch her scheming children far and wide : 

Some east, some west ; some everywhere but Dorthf 

In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth. 

And thus — accursed be the day and year ! — 

She sent a Pict to play the felon here. 

Yet Caledonia claims some native worth, 

As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth ; 

So may her few, the letter'd and the brave, 

Bound to no clime, and victors of the gr;i\e, 

Shake off the sordid dust of such a land, 

And shine like children of a happier strand ; 

As once of yore in some obnoxious place, 

Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race." 

" Mortal ! " the blue-eyed maid resumed, " onoe more 
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore. 
Though fallen, alas ! this vengeance yet is mine, 
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine. 
Hear then in silence Pallas' stern behest ; 
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest. 

" First on th6 head of him who did this dee<j 
My curse shall light, on him and all his seed ; 
Without one spark of intellectual tire, 
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire : 
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace, 
Believe him bastard of a brighter race : 
Still with his hireling artists let him prate, 
And Folly's praise repay for Wisdom's hate ; 
Long of their patron's gusto let them tell, 
Whose noblest, native gusto is — to sell : 
To sell, and make — may shame record the da* ! — 
The state receiver of his pilfer'd prey. 
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West, 
Europe's worst dauber, and poor Britain's best, 
With palsied hand shall turn each model o'bc, 
And own himself an infant of fourscore. + 

• ,; Irish bastards," according to Sir Callaghan O'Brallaghan.— B. 
lfir. West, on seeing the " Elgin Collection " (I suppi.se we shall hear of the " At*. 
fjvw" and " Jack Sbephard " collection), oVclares himself " a mere tyro " is ui.— JB. 

*&< : ^ 



V 



THE CURSE OF MINERVA. 127 

Be all the bruisers cull'd from ttll St. Giles , 

That art and naturo may compare their styles ; 

While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare, 

And marvel at his lordship's 'stone shop '* there. 

Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombo Jreep, 

To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep ; 

While many a languid maid, with longing sigh. 

On giant statues casts the curious eye ; 

The room with transient glance appears to skim, 

Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb ; 

Mourns o'er the difference of now and then ; 

Exclaims, ' These Greeks indeed were proper men 1 ' 

Draws sly comparisons of these with those, 

And envi«s Lais all her Attic beaux. 

When shall a modern maid have swains like these ! 

Alas ! Sir Harry is no Hercules ! 

And last of all, amidst the gaping crew, 

Some calm spectator, as he takes his view, 

In silent indignation mix'd with grief, 

Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief. 

Oh, loathed in life, nor pardon 'd in the dust, 

May hate pursue his sacrilegious lust ! 

Link'd with the fool that tired the Ephesian dome, 

Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb. 

And Eratostratusf and Elgin shine 

In many a branding page and burning line ; 

Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed, 

Perchance the second blacker than the first. 

"So let him stand, through ages yet unborn, 
Fix'd statue on the pedestal of scorn ; 
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait, 
But fits thy country for her coming fate ; 
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son 
To do what oft Britannia's self had done. 
Look to the Baltic — blazing from afar, 
Your old ally yet mourns perfidious war. 
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid, 
Or break the compact which herself had made ; 
Far from such councils, from the faithless field 
She fled — but left behind her Gorgon shield ; 
A fatal gift, that, turn'd your friends to stone, 
And left lost Albion hated and alone. 

*' Look to the East, where Ganges' swarthy raoe 
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its baso ; 
Lo ! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head, 
And glares the Nemesis of native dead ; 
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood, 
And claims his long arrear of northern blood. 

• Poor Cribb was sadly puzzled when the marbles were first exhibited at Egta \ievst> I 
e Qfiked If it was not " a stone shop 1" — He was right : it is a shop. — B. 
t He who gained immortality by setting fire to the temple of Diana at Ephestu. 



^ ^ 



*$* ; ^ 

128 BYRON'S POEMS, 

So may ye perish ! — Pallas, when she gave 
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.* 

" Look on your Spain ! — she clasps the hand she hates. 
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates. 
Bear witness, bright Barossa ! thou canst tell 
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell. 
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally, 
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly. 
Oh, glorious field ! by Famine fiercely won, 
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done ! 
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat 
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat ? 

" Look last at home — ye love not to look there ; 
On the grim smile of comfortless despair : 
Your city saddens : loud though Revel howls, 
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowle. 
See all alike, of more or less bereft ; 
No misers tremble when there's nothing left. 
1 Blest paper credit, + who shall dare to sing? 
It clogs like lead Corruption's weary wing. 
Yet Pallas pluck'd each premier by the ear, 
Who gods and men alike disdain'd to hear ; 
But one, repentant o'er a bankrupt state, 
On Pallas calls, — but calls, alas ! too late: 
Then raves for * * ; to that Mentor bends, 
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends. 
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard, 
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd. 
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog 
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ' \o%.' 
Thus hail'd your rulers their patrician clod, 
As Egypt chose an onion for a god. 

'* Now fare ye well ! enjoy your little hour ; 
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanish'd power ; 
Gloss o'er the failure of each fondest scheme ; 
Vour strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream 
Bone is that gold the marvel of mankind, 
A.nd pirate's barter all that's left behind. X 
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far, 
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war ; 
The idle merchant on the useless quay 
Droops o'er the bales no bark may bear away ; 
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores 
Rot piecemeal on his own encumber'd shores : 
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom, 
And desperate mans him 'gainst the coming doom. 
Then in the senate of your sinking state 
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight. 
Vain is each voice where tones could once command 1 
E'en factions cease to charm a factious land : 

• l«ftt« events might prove his lordship a prophet as well as a poet 
f " Blest paper credit ! last and best supply. 

That lends Corruption lighter wings tc fly !" — I*oml— H. 
I 7V» D«ttl and Dover traffickers in ip»ci*.— b. 



4* 



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ON PARTING. 129 

Yet jarring sect* convulse a sister isle, 

And light with maddening hands the mutual pile. 

" 'Tis done, 'tis past, since Pallas warns in vain ; 
The Furies seize her abdicated reign ; 
Wide o'er the realm they wave their kindling brands^ 
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands. 
But one convulsive struggle still remains, 
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains. 
The banner'd pomp of war, the glittering files, 
O'er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles ; 
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum, 
That bid the foe defiance ere they come ; 
The hero bounding at his country's call, 
The glorious death that cousecrates his fall. 
Swell the young heart with visionary charms, 
And bid it antedate the joys of arms. 
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught, 
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought : 
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight, 
His day of mercy is the day of fight. 
But when the field is fought, the battle won, 
Though drench'd with gore, his woes are but beguii : 
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name ; 
The slaughter'd peasant and the ravish'd dame, 
The rifled mansion and the foe-reap'd field, 
111 suit with souls at home, untaught to yield. 
Say with what eye along the distant down 
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town ? 
How view the column of ascending flames 
Shake his red shadow o'er the startled Thames? 
Nay, frown not, Albion ! for the torch was thine 
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine : 
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast, 
Go, ask thy bosom who deserves them most. 
The law of heaven and earth is life for life, 
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife." 



ON PARTING. 

The kiss, dear maid ! thy lip has left 

Shall never part from mine, 
Till happier hours restore the gift 

Untainted back to thine. 

Thy parting glance, which fondly beams, 

An equal love may see : 
The tear that from thine eyelid streams 

Can weep no change in me. 

I ask no pledge to make me blest 

In gazing when alone ; 
Nor one memorial for a breast 

Whose thoughts are all thine owe 
K 



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-*■£> 



I3 o BYRON'S POEMS. 

Nor need I write — to tell the tale 
My pen were doubly weak : 

Oh ! what can idle words avail, 
Unless the heart could speak 1 

By day or night, in weal or woe, 
That heart, no longer free, 

Must bear the love it cannot show, 
And silent, ache for thee. 



|otms to C&grjs. 



TO THYRZA. 

WITHOUT a stone to mark the spot, 
And say, what Truth might well have s&iii, 

By all, save one, perchance forgot, 
Ah ! wherefore art thou lowly laid ? 

By many a ;hore and many a sea 

Divided, yet beloved in vain ! 
The past, the future fled to thee, 

To bid us meet — no — ne'er again ! 

Could this have been — a word, a look, 
That softly said, " We part in peace," 

Had taught my bosom how to brook, 
"With fainter sighs, thy boul's release. 

And didst thou not, since Death for thea 
Prepared a light and pangless dart, 

Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see, 
Who held, and holds thee in his heart ? 

Oh ! who like him had watch'd thee hero? 

Or sadly mark'd thy glazing eye, 
In that dread hour ere death appear, 

When silent sorrow fears to sigh. 

Till all was past ! But when no more 
'Twas thine to reck of human woe, 

Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er, 
Had flow'd as fast — as now they flow. 

Shall they not flow, when many a day 
In these, to me, deserted towers, 

Ere call'd but for a time away, 

Affection's mingling tears were ours ? 



♦<|> ■ : ^ 



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AWAY, AWAY, YE NOTES OF WOE. 131 

Ours too the glance none saw beside ; 

The smile none else might understand ; 
The whisper'd thought of hearts allied, 

The pressure ot the thrilling hand ; 

The kiss, so guiltless and refined, 

That Love each warmer wish forbore ; 
Those eyes proclaim'd so pare a mind, 

Even passion blush' d to plead for more. 

The tone, that taught me to rejoice, 

When prone, unlike thee, to repine ; 
The song, celestial from thy voice, 

But sweet to me from none but thine ; 

The pledge we wore — I wear it still, 

But where is thine ? — Ah ! where art thou \ 

Oft have I borne the weight of ill, 
But never bent beneath till now ! 

Well hast thou left in life's best bloom 

The cup of woe for me to drain. 
If rest alone be in the tomb, 

I would not wish thee here again ; 

But if in worlds more blest than this 

Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, 
Impart some portion of thy bliss, 

To wean me from mine anguish here. 

Teach me — too early taught by thee ! 

To bear, forgiving and forgiven : 
On earth thy love was such to me, 

It fain would form my hope in heaven ! 

October 11, 1811. 



AWAY, AWAY, YE NOTES OF WOE. 

Away, away, ye notes of woe ! 

Be silent, thou once soothing strain, 
Or I must flee from hence — for, oh ! 

I dare not trust those sounds again. 
To me they speak of brighter days — 

But lull the chords ; for now, alas I 
I must not think, I may not gaze, 

On what I am— on what I was. 

The voice that made those sounds more gweefc 

Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled \ 
And now their softest notes repeat 

A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead ! 
Yes, Thyrza ! yes, they breathe of thee. 

Beloved dust ! since dust thou art ; 
And all that once was harmony 

Is worse than discord to my heart, 
K 2 

^y — — -+ih 



&«. 



*< 



132 B \ RON 'S POEMS. 

Tis silent all ! — but on my ear 

The well-remember' d echoes thrill, 
I hear a voice I would not hear, 

A voice that now might well be stilL 
Tet oft my doubting soul 'twill shake ; 

Even si umber osvns its gentle tone. 
Till consciousness will vainly wake 

To listen, though the dream be flown. 

uweet Thyrza ! waking as in sleep, 

Thou art but now a lovely dream ; 
A star that trembled o'er the deep, 

Then turn'd from earth its tender beam. 
But he who through life's dreary way 

Must pass when heaven is veil'd in wrath, 
Will long lament the vanish'd ray 

That scatter' d gladness o'er his path. 

D*coniber 6, IflU. 

ONE STRUGGLE MORE, AND I AM FREE. 

One struggle more, and I am free 

From pangs that rend my heart in twain ; 
One last long sigh to love and thee, 

Then back to busy life again. 
It suits me well to mingle now 

With things that never pleased before : 
Though every joy is fled below, 

What future grief can touch me more ? 

Then bring me wine, the banquet bring! 

Man was not form'd to live alone ; 
T'll be that light, unmeaning thing, 

That smiles with all, and weeps with nca«. 
It was not thus in days more dear, 

It never wou»d have been, but thou 
Hast fled, and left me lonely here ; 

Thou'rt nothing — all are nothing now. 

In vain my lyre would lightly breathe ! 

The smile that sorrow fain would weer 
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath, 

Like roses o'er a sepulchre. 
Though gay companious o'er the bowl 

Dispel awhile the sense of ill , 
Though pleasure fires the maddening sou^ 

The heart — the heart is lonely still 1 

On many a lone and lovely night 

It soothed to gaze upon the sky ; 
?or then I deem'd the heavenly light 

Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye : 
And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, 

When sailing o'er the iEgean wav&t 
a Now Thyrza gazes on that moon" — 

Alas, it gleam* d upon her grave i 



< ■ 



-K;; 



4 



EUTHANASIA. 133 

When stretch' d on fever's sleepless bed, 

And sickness shrunk my th robbing veine, 
"'Tis comfort still," I faintly said, 

" Tkat Thyrza cannot know my pains t " 
Like freedom to the time-worn slavo, 

A boon 'tis idle then to give, 
Relenting Nature vainly gave 

My life, when Thyrza ceased to live! 

My Thyrza' s pledge in better days, 

When love and life alike were new ! 
How different now thou meet'st my gaz< I 

How tinged by time with sorrow's nue I 
The heart that gave itself with thee 

Is silent — ah, were mine as still ! 
Though cold as e'en the dead can be, 

It feels, it sickens with the chill. 

Thou bitter pledge ! thou mournful token ! 

Though painful, welcome to my breast ! 
Still, still, preserve that love unbroken, 

Or break the heart to which thou'rt press* <L I 
Time tempers love, but not removes, 

More hallow'd when its hope is fled : 
Oh ! what are thousand living loves 

To that whioh cannot quit the dead ? 



EUTHANASIA. 

When Time, or soon or late, shall bring 
The dreamless sleep that lulls the deac- 

Oblivion ! may thy languid wing 
Wave gently o'er my dying bed ! 

No band of friends or heirs be there, 
To weep or wish the coming blow ; 

No maiden, with dishevell'd hair, 
To feel, or feign, decorous woe. 

But silent let me sink to earth, 
With no officious mourners near ; 

1 would not mar one hour of mirth, 
Nor startle friendship with a tear. 

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour 
Could nobly check its useless signs, 

Might then exert its latest power 
In her who lives and him who dies. 

'Twere sweet, my Psyche ! to the last 
Thy features still serene to see : 

Forgetful of its struggles past, 
E'en Pain itself should smile on thee* 



<> 



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134 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But vain the wish — for Beauty still 

Will shrink, as shrinks thj ebbing breath ; 

And woman's tears, produced at will, 
Deceive in life, unman in death. 

Then lonely be my latest ho\ir, 
Without regTet, without a groan ; 

For thousands Death hath ceased to lower. 
And pain been transient or unknown. 

"Ay, but to die, and go," alas ! 

Where all have gone, and all must go ! 
To be the nothing that I was 

Ere born to life and li ring woe. 

Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen, 
Count o'er thy days from anguish free, 

And know, whatever thou hast been, 
'Tis something better not to be. 



AND THOU ART DEAD, AS YOUNG AS FAT'.! 

" Hen, quanto minus est cum rellqute veraari quam tui memloUa* I* 

And thou art dead, as young and fair, 

As aught of mortal birth ; 
And form so soft, and charms so rare, 

Too soon return'd to Earth ! 
Though Earth received them in her bed, 
And o'er the spot tV>e crowd miy tread 

In carelessness or mirth, 
There is an eye which could Dot brook 
A moment on that grave to look. 

1 will not ask where thou liest low, 

Nor gaze upon the spot ; 
There flowers or weeds at w^ll may grow, 

So I behold them not : 
It is enough for me to prove 
That what I loved, and long must love, 

Like common earth can rot ; 
To me there needs no stone to tell, 
'Tis Nothing that I loved so well. 

Yet did I love thee to the last 

As fervently as thou, 
Who didst not change through all the past, 

And canst not alter now. 
The love where Death has set his seal, 
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal, 

Nor falsehood disavow : 
And, what were worse, thou canst not seo 
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me. 

+£h -€>♦ 



<b- 



AND TIM U A K 7 DEAD. 135 

The better days of life were ours ; 

The worst can be but mine : 
The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers, 

Shall never more be thine. 
The silence of that dreamless sleep 
I envy now too much to weep ; 

Nor need I to repine 
That all those charms have pass'd away ; 
I might have watch'd through long decay, 

The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd 

Must fall the earliest prey ; 
Though by no hand untimely sratch'd,. 

The leaves must drop away : 
And yet it were a greater griel 
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf, 

Than see it pluck'd to-day ; 
Since earthly eye but ill but bear 
To trace the change to foul from fair. 

I know not if I could have borne 

To see thy beauties fade ; 
The night that folio w'd such a morn 

Had worn a deeper shade : 
Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd,, 
And thou wert lovely to the last : 

Extinguish'd, not decay* d ; 
As stars that shoot along the sky 
Shine brightest as they fall from high. 

As once I wept, if I could weep, 

My tears might well be shed, 
To think I was not near to keep 

One vigil o'er thy bed ; 
To gaze, how fondly ! on thy faoe, 
To fold thee in a faint embrace, 

Uphold thy drooping head ; 
And show that love, however vain, 
Nor thou nor I can feel again. 

Yet how much less it were to gain, 

Though thou hast left me free, 
The loveliest things that still remain, 

Than thus remember thee ! 
The all of thine that cannot die 
Through dark and dread Eternity 

Returns again to me, 
And more thy buried love endears 
Than aught, except its living years. 




^ 



kW 

136 BYRON'S POEMS. 

IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN, 

If sometimes in the haunts of men 

Thine image from my breast may fade, 
The lonely hour presents again 

The semblance of thy gentle shade : 
A nd now that sad and silent hour 

Thus much of thee can still restore, 
And sorrow unobserved may pour 

The plaint she dare not speak before. 

Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile 

I waste one thought I owe to thee, 
And, self-condemn'd, appear to smile, 

Unfaithful to thy memory ! 
Nor deem that memory less dear, 

That then I seem not to repine ; 
I would not fools should overhear 

One sigh that should be wholly thine. 

If not the goblet pass unquafFd, 

It is not drain'd to banish care ; 
The cup must hold a deadlier draught., 

That brings a Lethe for despair. 
And could Oblivion set my soul 

From all her troubled visions free, 
I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl 

That drown' d a single thought of thea 

For wert thou vanish'd from my mind, 

Where could my vacant bosom turn f 
A.nd who would then remain behind 

To honour thine abandon'd Urn ? 
No, no — it is my sorrow's pride 

That last dear duty to fulfil ; 
Though all the world forget beside, 

'Tis meet that I remember still. 

For well I know, that such had been 

Thy gentle care for him, who now 
Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene, 

Where none regarded him, but thou : 
And, oh ! I feel in that was given 

A blessing never meant for me ; 
Thou wert too like a dream of heaven, 

For earthly Love to merit thee. 






-& 



THE CHAIN I GAVE. 137 



ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS BROKEN. 

Ill-fated Heart ! and can it be, 

That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain? 

Haw yean of care for thine and thee 
Alike been all employ'd in vain ? 

Yet precious seems each shattor'd pan, 

And every fragment dearer grown, 
8ince he who wears thoe feels thou art 

A fitter emblem of his own. 



LINES TO A LADY WEEPING. ' 

Weep, daughter of a royal line, 
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay ; 

Ah ! happy if each tear of thine 
Could wash a father's fault away ! 

Weep — for thy tears are Virtue's tears — 
Auspicious to these suffering isles ; 

And be each drop in future years 
Repaid thee by thy people's smiles ! 



U&rch. 



THE CHAIN I GAVE. 

FROM THE TURKISH. 

The chain I gave was fair to view, 
The lute I added sweet in sound ; 

The heart that offer' d both was true, 
And ill deserved the fate it found. 

These gifts were charm'd by secret spell, 
Thy truth in absence tc divine ; 

And they have done their duty well, — 
Alas ! they could not teach thee thine. 

That chain was firm in every link, 
But not to bear a stranger's touch ; 

That lute was sweet — till thou couldst think 
In other hands its notes were such. 

Let him, who from thy neck unbound 
The chain which shiver' d in his grasp, 

Who saw that lute refuse to sound, 
Restring the chords, renew the clasp. 

When thou wert changed, they alter'd too ; 

The chain is broke, the music mute. 
Tis past — to them and thee adieu — 

False heart, frail chain, and silent lute, 

• The Princess Charlotte. 



♦e- 



W- 



1 3$ B Y RON'S POEMS. 



TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ. 

A.BSENT or present, still to thee, 

My friend, what magic spells belong 1 

As all can tell, who share, like ine, 
In turn thy converse and thy song. 

But when the dreaded hour shall come, 
By Friendship ever deem'd too nigh, 

And " Memory " o'er her Druid's tomb 
Shall weep that aught of thee can die, 

How fondly will she then repay 
Thy homage offer'd at her shrine, 

And Wend, while ages roll away, 
Her name immortally with thine I 



Aprli 10, lgl£ 



ADDRESS, 

SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE, SATUEI>i.T, 
OCTOBER 10, 1812. 

In one dread night our city saw, and sigh'd, 
Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride ; 
In one short hour beheld the blazing fane, 
Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reign. 

Ye who beheld (oh ! sight admired and moura'd. 
Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd !) 
Through clouds of fire the massive fragments riven, 
Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven , 
Saw the long column of revolving flames 
Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames, 
While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome, 
Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home, 
As glared the volumn'd blaze, and ghastly shone 
The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, 
Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall 
Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall ; 
Say — shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, 
Rear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle, * 

Know the same favour which the former knew, 
A shrine for Shakspeare — worthy him and you ' 

Yes — it shall be — the magic of that name 
Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame \ 
On the same spot still consecrates the scene, 
And bids the Drama be where she hath been. : 
This fabric's birth attests the potent spell — 
Indulge our honest pride, and say, How veil I 

As soars this fane to emulate the last, 
^>h ! might we draw our omens frcm the pa^t, 



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ADDRESS. 139 

Some bour propitious to our prayei s may boast 
Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. 
On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art 
O'erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart- 
On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew ; 
Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew, 
Sigh'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu ; 
But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom, 
That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. 
Such Drury claim'd and claims — nor you refuse 
One tribute to revive his slumbering muse ; 
With garlands deck your own Menander's head 1 * 
Nor board your honours idly for the dead ! 

Dear are the days which made our annals bright, 
Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley ceased to write. 
Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, 
Vain of our ancestry as they of theirs ; 
While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glaas 
To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, 
And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine 
Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line, 
Pause — ere their feebler offspring you condemn, 
Reflect how hard the task to rival them ! 

Friends of the stage ! to whom both Players and Plays 
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise, 
Whose judging voice and eye alone direct 
The boundless power to cherish or reject ; 
If e'er frivolity has led to fame, 
And made us blush that you forbore to blame ; 
If e'er the sinking stage could condescend 
To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend 
A 11 past reproach may present scenes refute, 
And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute ! 
Oh ! since your fiat stamps the Drama's laws, 
Forbear to mock us witn mispiaced applause ; 
So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers, 
And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours ! 

This greeting u er, the ancient rule obey'd, 
The Drama's homage by ner neraid paid, 
Receive our welcome too, whose every tone 
Springs from our hearts, and lain would win your oufiL. 
The curtain rises — may our stage unfold 
Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old ! 
Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, 
Still may wc please — long, long may ytu preside J 

• StioiiAan. 



*©"*■ 



r4o BYRON'S POEMS, 



VERSES FOUND IN A SUMMER-FJUSE AT 
HALES-OWEN. 

When Dryden's fool,* "unknowing what he sought," 

His hours in whistling spent, " for want of thought," 

This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense 

Supplied, and amply too, by innocence. 

Did modern swains, possess'd of Cymon's powera, 

In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours, 

The offended guests would not, with blushing, set? 

These fair green walks disgraced by infamy. 

Severe the fate of modern fools, alas ! 

When vice and folly mark them as tbey pasg, 

Like noxious reptiles o'er the whiten'd wall, 

The filth they leave still points out where the} crawl. f 

• " Cytiion, a clown, wto ne'er had dreamt of love." — 

Drydkn's Modernization of Chaucer. 

t At Halet-Owen the peet Staenstone was burled, and " The Leasowes" was iininediafcCy 
contiguous to It. It was probably some desecration of the post's tomb, or of his work* B) 
toils, that guve birth to these lines. 



fcffla — ►« 






THE WALTZ : 

AN APOSTBOPHIC HYMN. 



" Quails In EuroUe ripis, nut per juga Cyntbl, 

Exercct Diana chorot." Vmon. 

" Such on Eurota'n banks, or Cynthia's height, 

Diana seems : and so she charms the sight, 

When in the dance the graceful goddess leads 

lite quire of nymphs, and overtops their heads."— Dnroaar'a Fit-fit, 



TO THE PUBLISHER. 

Sin,— I am a country gentleman of a midland county. I might have 
toe^n a parliament-man for a certain borough, having had the offer of aft 
many votes as General T. at the general election in 1812.* But I was all 
for domestic happiness ; as, fifteen years ago, en a visit to London, I 
married a middle-aged maid of honour. We lived happily at Hornem 
Hall toll last season, when my wife and I were invited by the Countess of 
Waltzaway (a distant relation of my spouse) to pass the winter in town. 

Thinking no harm, and our girls being come to a marriageable (or, 
as they call it, marketable) age, and having besides a Chancery suit 
Inveterately entailed upon the family estate, we came up in our old 
chariot, of which, by the bye, my wife grew so much ashamed in less 
than a week, that I was obliged to buy a second-hand barouche, of which 
I might mount the box, Mrs. H. says, if I could drive, but never see the 
inside — that place being reserved for the Honourable Augustus Tiptoe, 
her partner- general and opera-knight. Hearing great praises of Mrs. H.'s 
dancing (she was famous for birthnight minuets in the latter end of the last 
century), I unbooted, and went to a ball at the Countess's, expecting to see 
a country dance, or, at most, cotillons, reels, and all the old paces to the 
newest tunes. But judge ©f my surprise, on arriving, to see poor dear 
Mrs. Hornem with her arms half round the loins of a huge hussar-looking 
gentleman I never set eyes on before; and his, to say truth, rather more 
than half round her waist, turning round, and round, and round, to a 

d d see-saw up-and-down sort of tune, that reminded me of the 

"Black joke," only more "affettuoso," till it made me quite giddy with 
wondering they were not so. By-and-by they stopped a bit, and 1 
thought they would sit or fall down . — but no j with Mrs. H.'s hand on his 
shoulder, "quam familiariter" t (as Terence said when I was at school), 
they walked about a minute, and then at it again, like two cockchafers 
npitted upon the same bodkin. I asked what all this meant, when, with 
a loud laugh, a child no older than our Wilhelmina (a name I never heard 
but in the Vicar of Wakefield, though her mother would call her after the 
Princess of Swappenbach) said, " Lord, Mr. Hornem, can't you see they are 
valtzing ! " or waltzing ( I forget which ) ; and then up she got, and her 
mother and sister, and away they went, and round-abouted it till supper, 
time. Now, that I know what it is, I like it of all things, and so doss 

• State of the poU (last day), 5. 

t My Latin is all forgotten, if a man can be said to have forgotten what he never 
feaaembered ; but I bought my title-page motto of a Catholic priest for a three-shilling 
'9»nk token, after much haggling for the even sixpence. I grudged the money to a papist, 
feeing all for the memory of Perceval and " No popery," and quite regretting th« do-wnfaU 
Of the pope, because ve can't bur» him any n\ jtq. 



<> 



" 



•ty 



I42 BYRON'S POEMS. 



Mrs. II. (though I have broken my shins, and four times overturned Mrs. 
Homem's maid, in practising the preliminary steps in a morning). Indeed 
so much do I like it, that having a turn for rhyme, tastily displayed in 
some election ballads, and songs in honour of all the victories (but till 
lately I have had little practice in that way), I sat down, and, with the aid 
of William Fitzgerald, Esq., and a few hints from Dr. Busby (whose 
recitations 1 attend, and am monstrous fond of Master Busby's mauner of 
delivering his father's late successful "Drury Lane Address "), I composed 
the following hymn, wherewithal to make my sentiments known to the 
public i whom nevertheless, I heartily despise, as well as the critic* 
I am, Sir, yours, &c. &c. 

HORACE HORNE&J 



THE WALTZ. 



Muse of the many-twinkling feet ! whose charms* 
Are now extended up from legs to arms ; 
Terpsichore ! — too long misdeem'd a maid — 
Reproachful term — bestow'd but to upbraid — 
Henceforth in all the bronze of brightness shine, 
The least a vestal of the virgin Nine. 
Far be from thee and thine the name of prude ; 
Mock'd, yet triumphant ; sneer'd at, unsubdued ; 
Thy legs must move to conquer as they fly, 
If but thy coats are reasonably high ; 
Thy breast — if bare enough — requires no shield ; 
Dance forth, — sans armour thou shalt take the field, 
And own — impregnable to most assaults, 
Thy not too lawfully begotten " Waltz." 

Hail, nimble nymph ! to whom the young hussar, 
The whisker'd votary of waltz and war, 
His night devotes, despite of spur and boots ; 
A sight unmatch'd since Orpheus and his brutes : 
Hail, spirit-stirring Waltz ! — beneath whose banners 
A modern hero fought for modish manners ; 
On Hounslow's heath to rival Wellesley's fame,+ 
Cock'd — fired — and miss'd his man — but gain'd his aim ; 

• ■ Glance their many-twinkling feet." — Gray. 

t To rival Lord Wellesley's, or his nephew's, as the reader pleases : — the one gained! 
pretty woman, whom he deserved, by fighting for ; and the other, has been fighting i| 
the Peninsula many a long day, " by Shrewsbury clock," without gaining anything lb 
that country but the title of " *he Great Lord f and " the Lord ;" which savours of pro- 
fanation, having been hitherto tpplied only to that Being to whom " Te Deums " foi 
carnage are the rankest blasphemy. It is to be presumed that the general will one <tay 
return to his Sabine farm ; there 

•* To tame the genius of the stubborn plain, 
A Imoit at quickly as he conquer' d Spain I " 
TJie Lord Peterborough conquered continents in a summer ; we do more — we contrive 
both to conquer and lose them in a shorter season. If the " great Lord's " Cincinnati*!* 
progress in agriculture be no speedier than the proportional average of time in Pope 'I 
eeuplet. It will, according to the farmer's proverb, be " ploughing with dogs." 

By the bye— one of thii illustrious person's new titles is forgotten— it U, howertx* 



___ * 

THE WALTZ. 143 

Hail, moving Muse ! to whom the fab one's breast 

Gives all it can, and bids us take the rest. 

Oh ! for the flow of Busby, or of Fitz, 

The latter's loyalty, the former's wits, 

To " energize the object I pursue," 

And give both Belial and his dance their due ! 

Imperial Waltz ! imported from the Rhine 
(Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine), 
Long be thine import from all duty free, 
And hock itself be less esteem 'd than thee : 
In some few qualities alike — for hock 
Improves our cellar — thou our living stock. 
The head to hock belongs — thy subtler art 
Intoxicates alone the heedless heart : 
Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims^ 
And wakes to wantonness the willing limbs. 

Oh, Germany, how much to thee we owe, 
As heaven-born Pitt can testify below, 
Ere cursed confederation made thee France's, 

And only left us thy d d debts and dances ! 

Of subsidies and Hanover bereft, 

We bless thee still — for George the Third is lefl ! 

Of kings the best — and last, not least in worth, 

For graciously begetting George the Fourth. 

To Germany, and highnesses serene, 

Who owe us millions — don't we owe the Queen ? 

To Germany, what owe we not besides ? 

So oft bestowing Brunswickers and brides ; 

Who paid for vulgar, with her royal blood, 

Drawn from the stem of each Teutonic stud ; 

Who sent us — so be pardon' d all her faults — 

A dozen dukes, some kings, a queen — and Waltz. 

But peace to her — her emperor and diet, 
Though now transferr'd to Buonaparte's " fiat ! " 
Back to my theme — Muse of Motion ! say, 
How first to Albion found thy Waltz her way ? 

Borne on the breath of hyperborean gales, 
From Hamburg's port (while Hamburg yet had ynatli) 
Ere yet unlucky fame — compell'd to creep 
To snowy Gottenburg — was chill'd to sleep ; 
Or, starting from her slumbers, deign'd arise, 
Heligoland, to stock thy mart with lies ; 

worth remembering — " Salvador del mundo ! " eredite posteri I If this be the appe1b> 
tion annexed by the Inhabitants of the Peninsula to the name of a man who has not yet 
saved them— query, are they worth saving, even in this world T for, according to the 
mildest modifications of any Christian creed, those three words make the odds mueh 
tgainst them in the next. " Saviour of the world," quotha J— it were to be wished that 
he, or any one else, could save a corner of it— his country. Tet this stupid misnomer, 
although it shows the near connection between superstition and impiety, so far has its 
use, that it proves there can be little to dread from those Catholics (inquisitorial Catho- 
lics too) who can confer such an appellation on a Protestant. I suppose next year he will 
be entitled the " Virgin Mary f if so, Lord George Gordon himself would have nothing 
to object to such liberal bastards of our Lady of Babylon. 



-*£■)+ 



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xi 



I44 BYRON'S POEMS. 

While unburnt Moscow yet had news to send,* 

Nor owed her fiery exit to a friend, 

She came — Waltz came — and with her certain sets 

Of true despatches, and as true gazettes : 

Then flamed of Austerlitz the blest despatch, 

Which Moniteur nor Morning Post can match ; 

And — almost crush'd beneath the glorious news — 

Ten plays — and forty tales of Kotzebue's ; 

One envoy's letters, six composers' airs, 

And loads from Frankfort and from Leipsic fairs ; 

Meiner's four volumes upon v omankind, 

Like Lapland witches to insure a wind ; 

Rrunck's heaviest tome for ballast, and, to back it, 

Of Heyne, such as should not sink the packet. 

Fraught with this cargo — and her fairest freight, 
Delightful Waltz, on tiptoe for a mate, 
The welcome vessel reach'd the genial strand, 
And round her flock' d toe daughters of the land. 
Not decent David, when, before the ark, 
His grand pas-seul excited some remark ; 
Not love-lorn Quixote, when his Sancho thought 
The knight's fandango friskier than it ought ; 
Not soft Herodias, when, with winning tread, 
Her nimble feet danced off another's head ; 
Not Cleopatra on her galley's deck, 
Display'd so much of leg, or more of neck, 
Than thou, ambrosial Waltz, when first the moon 
Beheld thee twirling to a Saxon tune ! 

To you, ye husbands of ten years ! whose brows 
Ache with the annual tributes of a spouse ; 
To you of nine years less, who only bear 
The budding sprouts of those that you shall wear, 
With added ornaments around them roil'd 
Of native brass, or law-awarded gold ; 
To you, ye matrons, ever on the watch 
To mar a son's, or make a daughter's match ; 
To you, ye children of — whom chance accords — 
A Iways the ladies, and sometimes the lords ; 
To you, ye single gentlemen, who seek 
Torments for life, or pleasures for a week ; 
As Love or Hymen your endeavours guide, 
To gain your own, or snatch another's bride ; — 

* The patriotic arson of our amiable allies cannot be sufficiently commended — no* 
subscribed for. Amongst other details omitted in the various despatches of our eloquent 
embassador, he did not state (being too much occupied with the exploits of Colonel C— - — , 
in swimming rivers frozen, and galloping over roads impassnble) that one entire province 
perished by famine in the most melancholy manner, as follows : — In General Rostopchin'6 
consummate conflagration, the consumption of tallow and train oil was so great, that the 
market was inadequate to the demand ; and thus one hundred and thirty-three thousand 
persons were starved to death, by being reduced to wholesome diet. The lamplighters of 
London have since subscribed a pint (of oil) apiece, and the tallow-chandlers hav<j 
unanimously voted a quantity of the best moulds (four to the pound), to the relief of tho 
surviving Scythians ; — the scarcity will soon, by such exertions, and a proper attention to 
the quality rather than the quantity of provision, be totally alleviated. It is said, is 
cotura, that the untouched nuraine has subscribed sixty thousand beeves for a day's mosl 
to our suffering raumufaotcrorx. 



«? 



M 



+4h 



THE WALTZ. 145 

To one and all the lovely stranger came, 
Ana avery ball-room echoes with her name. 

Endearing Waltz ! — to thy more melting tune 
Bow Irish jig and ancient rigadoon. 
Scotch reels, avaunt ! and country-dance, forego 
Your future claims to each fantastic toe ! 
Waltz — Waltz alone — both legs and arms demands, 
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands ; 
Hands which may freely range in public sight 
Where ne'er before — but — pray " put out the light." 
Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier 
Shines much too far — or I am much too near ; 
And true, though strange — Waltz whispers this remark. 
" My slippery steps are safest in the dark ! " 
But here the Muse with due decorum halts, 
And lends her longest petticoat to Waltz. 

Observant travellers of every time ! 
Ye quartos publish' d upon every clime ! 
Oh, say, shall dull Romaika's heavy round, 
Fandango's wriggle, or Bolero's bound ; 
Can Egypt's Almas* — tantalizing group — 
Columbia's caperers to the warlike whoop — 
Can aught from cold Kamschatka to Cape Horn 
With Waltz compare, or after Waltz be borne ? 
Ah, no ! from Morier's pages down to Gait's, 
Each tourist pens a paragraph for " Waltz." 

Shades of those belles whose reign began of yore, 
With George the Third's, and ended long before ! 
Though in your daughters' daughters yet you thrivs, 
Burst from your lead, and be yourselves alive ! 
Back to the bali-room speed your spectred host ; 
Fool's Paradise is dull to that you lost. 
No treacherous powder bids conjecture quake ; 
No stiff-starch'd stays make meddling fingers ache 
(Transferr'd to those ambiguous things that ape 
Goats in their visage, women in their shape) ;+ 
No damsel faints when rather closely press'd, 
But more caressing seems when most caress' d ; 
Superfluous hartshorn, and reviving salts, 
Both banish'd by the sovereign cordial " Waits." 

• Dancing-girls — who do for hire what Waltz doth gratis. 

t It cannot be complained now, as in the Lady Baussiere's time, of the " SJenr de la 
Croix," that there be " no whiskers ;" but how far these are indications of valour in the 
field, or elsewhere, may still be questionable. Much may be, and hath been, avouched on 
both sides. In the olden time, philosophers had whiskers, and soldiers n.ine— Scipic 
himself was shaven — Hannibal thought his one eye handsome enough without a beard ; 
but Adrian, the emperor, wore a beard (having warts on his chin, which neither tha 
empress Sabina nor even the courtiers could abide) — Turenne h;ul whiskers, Mailnorongh 
Bone — Buonaparte is unwhiskered, the Regent whiskered ; " argal " greatness of inina 
and whiskers may or may not go together ; but certainly the different occurrences, since 
the growth of the last mentioued, go further in behalf oi whiskers than the auatheipa of 
Anselm did against long hair in the reign of Henry I. Formerly, red was a labourite 
eolour. See Lodowick Barry's comedy of Ram Alley, 16S1, Act i. scene 1. 

" Taffeta. — Now for a wager — What coloured beard comes next by the window t 

" Adriana. — A black man's, I think. 

" Taffeta. — I think not so : I th.'nk a red, for that is most in fashion." 

There is " nothing new under the sun ;" but red, then a favourite, ha9 n<rw Subside 
tJito a favourite' 's colout. 

L 



<>- 



1 4 6 B YR OK r S POEMS. 

Seductive Waltz ! — though on thy native shorv 
Even Werter's self proclaim'd thee half a whore* 
Werter — to decent vice though much inclined, 
Yet warm, not wanton ; dazzled, but not blind — 
Though gentle Gen lis, in her strife with Stae'L, 
Would e'en proscribe thee from a Paris ball ; 
Thee fashion hails — from countesses to queens, 
And maids and valets waltz behind the scenes ; 
Wide and more wide thy witching circle spreads, 
And turns — if nothing else — at least our heads ; 
With thee even clumsy cits attempt to bounce, 
And cockneys practise what they can't pronounce. 
God ! how the glorious theme my strain exalts. 
And rhyme finds partner rhyme in praise of Waltt. 1 

Blest was the time Waltz chose for her debut ; 
The court, the Regent, like herself were new ;* 
New face for friends, for foes some new rewards ; 
Now ornaments for black and royal guards ; 
New laws to hang the rogues that roar'd for bread ; 
New coins (most new) to follow those that tied ;t 
New victories — nor can we prize them less, 
Though Jenky+ wonders at his own success ; 
New wars, because the old succeed so well, 
That most survivors envy those who fell ; 
New mistresses — no, old — and yet 'tis true, 
Though they be old, the thing is something new ; 
Each new, quite new — (except some ancient trick?), § 
New white-sticks, gold-sticks, broom-sticks, all new Bticks 1 
With vests or ribbons deck'd alike in hue, 
New troopers strut, new turncoats blush in blue ; 

So saith the muse : my , what say you ?(J 

Such was the time when Waltz might best maiutain 
Her new preferments in this novel reign ; 
Such was the time, nor ever yet was such ; 
Hoops are no more, and petticoats not much ; 
Morals and minuets, virtue and her stays, 
And tell-tale powder — all have had their days. 
The ball begins — the honours of the house 
First duly done by daughter or by spouse, 

• An anachronism — Waltz and the 6attle of Austerlits are before said to hare opened 
J* Kill together; the bard means (if he means anything), Waltx was not so much in 
TOgue till the Regent attained the acino of his popularity. Waltz, the comet, whiskers, 
and the new government, illuminated heaven and earth, in all their glory, much \tvut 
the same time ; of those the comet only L.v disappeared ; the other three couiiniu to 
(astonish us still. — Printer'! Devil. 

t Amongst others a new niuei>ence — a creditable coin now forthcoming, worth a pownd, 
in paper at the fairest calculation. 

| Jenkin.«on. 

ft " Oh that right should thus overcome might I" Who does not remember the " delicate 
Investigation " in the " Merry Wives of Windsor T" — 

*' ford. — PTay you, " 'lue near : if 1 suspect without cans*, why then make sport .t 
ine : then let me be your jest ; I deserve it. How now f whither bear you this ? 

" Mr*. Furd. — What have you to do whither they bear it? — you were best meddle with 
buck -washing." 

The ge.ii*'e, or ferocious, reader may till up the blank as he pleases — there are several 
dissyllabic names at his servke (being already in the Regent's) ; it would uot be fair to 
beck any peculiar initial against the alphabet, as every mouth will add to the list now 
entered for the sweepstake* : — a distinguished consonant is &aid to te the favourite, muos> 
gainst the wishes of the knowing one*. 



■€>* 



■ 






THE WALTZ. 147 

Some potentate — or royal or serene — 

W»th Kent's gay grace, or sapient Gloster's mien, 

Leads forth the ready dame, whoso rising flush 

Might once have boon mistaken for a blush. 

From where the garb just leaves the bosom free, 

That spot whore hearts were once supposed to be j* 

Round all the confines of the yieldod waist, 

The stranger's hand may wander undisplaced ; 

The lady's in return may grasp as much 

As princely paunches offer to her touch. 

Pleased round the chalky floor how well they trip, 

One hand reposing on the royal hip ; 

The other to the shoulder no less royal 

Ascending with affection truly loyal ! 

Thus front to front the partners move or stand, 

The foot may rest, but none withdraw the hand ; 

And all in turn may follow in their rank, 

The Earl of — Asterisk, and Lady — Blank ; 

Sir — Such-a-one — with those of fashion's host, 

For whose blest surnames — vide " Morning Post " 

(Or if for that impartial print too late, 

Search Doctors' Commons six months from my date). 

Thus all and each, in movements swift or slow, 

The genial contact gently undergo ; 

Till some might marvel, with the modest Turk, 

If " nothing follows all this palming work ? "t 

True, honest Mirza ! — you may trust my rhyme — 

Something does follow at a fitter time ; 

The breast thus publicly resign'd to man 

In private may resist him if it can. 

ye who loved our grandmothers of yore, 
Fitzpatrick, Sheridan, and many more ! 
And thou, my Prince ! whose sovereign taste and will 
It is to love the lovely beldames still ! 
Thou ghost of Queensbury ! whose judging sprite 
Satan may spare to peep a single night, 
Pronounce — if ever in your days of bliss 
Asmodeus struck so bright a stroke as this? 
To teach the young ideas how to rise, 
Flush in the cheek, and languish in the eyes ; 
Rush to the heart, and lighten through the frame, 
With half-told wish and Hi-dissembled flame : 
For prurient nature still will storm the breast — 
Who, tempted thus, can answer for the rest ? 

But ye — who never felt a single thought 
For what our morals are to be, or ought ; 

* " We have jflAuged all that," Bays the Mock Doctor — 'tis all gone — Asmodeu* kaowi 
wbere. After all, it is of no great importance how women's hearts are disposed of ; th#y 
have nature's privilege to distribute them as absurdly as possible. But there are also 
•ome men w'tb hearts so thoroughly bad, as to remind us of those phenomena oftes 
mentioned :i» aaturs." history ; viz. a mass of solid stone — only to be opened by force — *nd 
when divided, you hud a toad in the centre, lively, and with the reputation of being 
venomous. 

t In Turkey a pertinent, here an Impertinent and superfluous, question — literally 
pat, as in the text by a Persian to Morier, on seeing a waits in Per*.— Fid* Morier"* 
IVwdii 

L 2 



♦& 



-<> 



1 48 B YR ON 'S PO EMS. 

Who wisely wish the charms you view to reap, 
Say — would you make those beauties quite so chea*? 1 
Hot from the hands promiscuously applied, 
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side, 
Where were the rapture then to clasp the form 
From this lewd grasp and lawless contact warm I 
At once love's most endearing thought resign, 
To press the hand so press'd by none but thine ; 
To gaze upon that eye which never met 
Another's ardent look without regret ; 
Approach the lip which all, without restraint, 
(Join© near enough — if not to touch — to taint ; 
1 f such thou lovest — love her then no more, 
Or give — like her — caresses to a score ; 
Her mind with these is gone, and with it go 
The little left behind it to bestow. 

Voluptuous Waltz ! and dare I thus blasphemo ? 
Thy bard forgot thy praises were his theme. 
Terpsichore, forgive ! — at every ball 
My wife now waltzes and my daughters shall ; 
My son — (or stop — 'tis needless to inquire — 
These little accidents should ne'er transpire ; 
Some ages hence our genealogic tree 
Will wear as green a bough for him as me) — 
Waltzing shall rear, to mttks our name amende, 
Grun-dsons for me — in heirs to all hit; friends 



TO TIME. 

Time ! on whose arbitrary wing 
The varying hours must flag or fly. 

Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring, 
But drag or drive us on to die — 

Hail, thou ! who on my birth bestow* d 
Those boons to all that know thee known ', 

\ et Detter 1 sustain thy load, 
For now I bear the weight alone. 

1 would not one fond heart should share 
The bitter moments thou hast given ; 

A.nd pardon thee, since thou couldst spare 
All that I loved, to peace or heaven. 

To them be joy or rest, on me 

Thy future ills shall press in vain : 

I nothing owe but years to thee, 
A debt already paid in pain. 

Yet even that pain was some relief ; 

It felt, but still forgot thy power : 
The active agony of grief 

Ketards: but never counts the hour. 







4 



> 



4h 



T//0 U A R T NO T FA LSE, D UT PICK I . E . i 49 

In joy I've sigh'<l to think thy flight 
Would soon subsido trom swift to slow ; 

Thy cloud could overcast the light, 
But could not add a night to woe ; 

For then, however drear and dark, 

My soul was suited to thy sky ; 
One star alone shot forth a spark 

To prove thee not — Eternity. 

That beam hath sunk, and now thou art 

A blank, — a thing to count and curs.'. 
Through each dull tedious trifling part, 

Which all regret, yet all rehearse. 

One scene even thou canst not deform ; 

The limit of thy sloth or speed, 
When future wanderers bear the storm 

Wfhich we shall sleep too sound to heed : 

And I can smile to think how weak 

Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, 
When all the vengeance thou canst wreak 

Must fall upon — a nameless stone. 



THOU ART NOT FALSE, BUT THOU ART F1CKLB. 

Thou art not false, but thou art fickle, 

To those thyself so fondly sought ; 
The tears that thou hast forced to trickle 

Are doubly bitter from that thought : 
'Tis this which breaks the heart thou grievest, V 
Too well thou loVst — too soon thou leavest. 

The wholly false the heart despises, 

And spurns deceiver and deceit ; 
But she who not a thought disguises, 

Whose love is as sincere as sweet, — 
When she can change who loved so truly, 
It feels what mine has felt so newly. 

To dream of joy and wake to sorrow, 

Is doom'd to all who love or live ; 
And if, when conscious on the morrow, 

We scarce our fancy can forgive, 
That cheated us in slumber only, 
To leave the waking soul more lonely. 

What must they feel whom no false vision, 
But truest, tenderest passion warm'd ; 

Sincere, but swift in sad transition, 
As if a dream alone had charm' d ? 

Ah ! sure such grief is fancy's scheming, 

And ail thy change can be but dreaming I 



~*+ 



♦4* 



-^ 



1 50 ^ YK OA 'S POEMS. 



REMEMBER HIM, WHOM PASSION'S POWEH. 

Eemember him, whom passion's power 

Severely, deeply, vainly proved : 
Remember thou that dangerous hour 

When neither fell, though both were loved., 

That yielding breast, that melting eye, 

Too much invited to be bless'd ; 
That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh, 

The wilder wish reproved, repress' d. 

Oh ! let me feel that all I lost 

But saved thee all that conscience fears ; 

And blush for every pang it cost 
To spare the vain remorse of years. 

Yet think of this when many a tongue, 
Whose busy accents whisper blame, 

Would do the heart that loved thee wrong, 
And brand a nearly blighted name. 

Think that, whate'er to others, thou 

Hast seen each selfish thought subdued : 

I bless thy purer soul even now, 
Even now, in midnight solitude. 

Oh, God ! that we had met in time, 

Our hearts as fond, thy hand more lroe J 

When thou hadst loved without a crime, 
And I been less unworthy thee. 

Far may thy days, as heretofore, 

From this our gaudy world be pass'd ! 

And that too bitter moment o'er, 
Oh ! may such trial be thy last ! 

This heart, alas ! perverted long, 
Itself destroy'd, might thee destroy ; 

To meet thee in the glittering throng, 
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy. 

Then to the things whose bliss or woe, 
Like mine, is wild and worthless all, 

That world resign — such scenes forego, 
Where those who feel must surely fall. 

Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness, 
Thy soul from long seclusion pure ; 

From what even here hath pass'd, may guess 
What there thy bosom must endure. 



+\ 



^ 






R EM EMBER II IM. 151 

Oh ! pardon that vmploring tear, 

Since not by Virtue shed in vain, 
My frenzy drew from eyes no dear ; 

For me they shall not weep again. 

Though long and mournful must it be, 
The thought that we no more may meet \ 

Yet I deserve the stern decree, 

And almost deem the sentence sweet. 

Still, had I loved thee less, my heart 

Had then less sacrificed to thine ; 
It felt not half so much to part, 

As if its guilt had made thee mine. 



< f 



tr- 



THE GIAOUR:* 

A FRAGMENT OF A. TURKISH TALE. 



* One fatal remembrance— one sorrow that throws 
Jta bleak shade alike o'er our joys and our woes— 
To which Life nothing darker nor brighter can bring. 
For which joy hath no balm — and affliction no sting.*'- Moos* 



SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ., 

ka A 6LTGHT BUT M08T 8INCBBB TOKKW OF ADMIBATIOW FOB HIS QBHTUSi 
UBSPBCT BOB HIS CHARACTER, AND GRATITUDE FOB HIS FB1BNDSHIP, 

THI8 PRODUCTION IS INSCRIBED, 

BY HIS OBLIGED AND 

AFFBCTIONATB 8BBTA1TT, 

London, May, 181S. BYRON. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



The tale which these disjointed fragments present, is founded upon 
circumstances now less common in the East than formerly; either Because 
the ladies are more circumspect than in the "olden time," or because the 
Christians have better fortune, or less enterprise. The story, when entire, 
contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the 
Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and aveng-ed by a young 
Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the 
Republic of Venice, and soon alter the Arnauts were beaten back from the 
Morea, which they had ravaged tor some time subsequent to the Russian 
invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes, on being- refused the plunder of 
Misitra, led to the abandonment of tnat enterprise, and to the desolation 
of the Morea, during- which the cruelty exercised on all sides wa» 
unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful. 



• This word, immortalized \>y Byron in this poem, and not less by Beckfort on 
Vathek," means " infidel," and U pronounced Djiur, like fhamtcKid and *iier 



Uai*niMBMfc 






s 



THE GIAOUR: 



Wo breath of air to break the wave 
That rolls belo^ the Athenian's grave, 
That tomb wmch, gleaming o'er the clifl,* 
First greets the homeward-veering skill, 
High o'er the land he saved in vain ; 
When shall such hero live again ? 

w * * * * 

Fair clime ! where every season smilee, 

Benignant o'er those blessed isles, 

Which, seen from far Colonna's height, 

Make glad the heart that hails the sight, 

And lend to loneliness delight. 

There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek 

Reflects the tints of many a peak 

Caught by the laughing tides that lave 

These Edens of the Eastern wave : 

And if at times a transient breeze 

Break the blue crystal of the seas, 

Or sweep one blossom from the trees. 

How welcome is each gentle air 

That wakes and wafts the odours therfc 1 

For there — the Rose o'er crag or vale, 

Sultana of the Nightingale, + 
The maid for whom his melody, 
His thousand songs are heard on high, 

Blooms blushing to her lover's tale ; 

His queen, the garden queen, his Rose, 

Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows, 

Far from the winters of the West, 

By every breeze and season blest, 

Returns the sweets by nature given 

In softest incense back to heaven ; 

And grateful yields that smiling sky 

Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh. 

And many a summer flower is there, 

And many a shade that love might share, 

And many a grotto, meant for rest, 

That holds the pirate for a guest ; 

* A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepakhra of 
Hi«!in istocles — B. 

* The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known Persian fable. It I 
mistalsa not, the " Bulbul of a thousand tales '" is one of his appellations.— & 



4* 






154 By RON'S POEMS. 

Whose bark in sheltering cove below 

Lurks for the passing peaceful prow. 

Till the gay mariner's guitar* 

Is heard, and seen the evening star ; 

Then stealing with the muffled oar, 

Far shaded by the rocky shore, 

Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, 

And turn to groans his roundelay. 

Strange — that where Nature loved to trnce> 

As if for Gods, a dwelling-place, 

And every charm and grace hi.zh mix'd 

Within the paradise she fix'd, 

There man, enamo»ir'd of distress, 

Should mar it into wilderness, 

And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower 

That tasks not one laborious hour ; 

Nor claims the culture of his hand 

To bloom along the fairy land, 

But springs as to preclude his care. 

And sweetly woos him — but to spare ! 

Strange — that where all is peace beside, 

There passion riots in her pride, 

And lust and rapine wildly reign 

To darken o'er the fair domain. 

It is as though the fiends prevail'd 

Against the seraphs they assail'd, 

And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell 

The freed inheritors of hell ; 

So soft the scene, so form'd for joy, 

So curst the tyrants that destroy ! 

He who hath bent him o'er the dead 

Ere the first day of death is fled, 

The first dark day of nothingness, 

The last of danger and distress, 

(Before Decay's effacing fingers 

Have swept the lines where beauty lingers;, 

And mark d the mild angelic air, 

The rapture of repose that's there, 

The fix'd yet tender traits that streak 

The languor of the placid cheek, 

And — but for that sad shrouded eye, 
That fires not, wins not, weeps not new, 
And but for that chill, changeless brow, 

Where cold Obstruction's apathyt 

Appals the gazing mourner's heart, 

As if to him it could impart 

The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon ; 

Yes, but for these and these alone, 

Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour, 

He still might doubt the tyrant's power ; 

* The gnitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor by night : with a tU^Af fair 
wind, atd during a calm, It is accompanied always by the voice, and often by dancifig. — & 
f " Ay, but to die and go we know not where. 

To lie in cold obstruction."— M eature for Manure, Act iii. 6c. i. 



<>• 









THE GIAOUR. i55 

So fair, so calm, so softly scal'd, 

The first, last look by death reveal'd !* 

Such is the aspect of this shore ; 

'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more 1 

So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, 

We start, for soul is wanting there. 

Hers is the loveliness in death, 

That parts not quite with parting breath ; 

But beauty with that fearful bloom, 

That hue which haunts it to the tomb, 

Expression's last receding ray, 

A gilded halo hovering round decay, 

The farewell beam of Feeling past away ! 
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth, 
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth I 

Clime of the unforgotten brave ! + 
Whose land from plain to mountain-cave 
Was Freedom's home, or Glory's grave 1 
Shrine of the mighty ! can it be 
That this is all remains of thee ? 
Approach, thou craven crouching slave : 

Say, is not this Thermopylae ? 
These waters blue that round you lave, 

Oh servile offspring of the free — 
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this ? 
The gulf, the rock of Salamis ! 
These scenes, their story not unknown, 
Arise, and make again your own ; 
Snatch from the ashes of your sires 
The embers of their former fires ; 
And he who in the strife expires 
Will add to theirs a name of" fear 
That Tyranny shall quake to hear, 
And leave his sons a hope, a fame, 
They too will rather die than shame : 
For Freedom's battle once begun, 
Bequeath'd by bleeding Sire to Son, 
Though baffled oft is ever won. 
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page, 
Attest it many a deathless age ! 
While kings, in dusty darkness hid, 
Have left a nameless pyramid, 
Thy heroes, though the general doom 
Hath swept the column from their tomb, 

• I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnesginf uiiat li 
here attempted in description ; but those who have will probably retain a painful remem- 
brance of that singular beauty which pervades, with few exceptions, the features of the 
dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after " the spirit is not there." It is to be 
remarked in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of 
languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character ; but in death from a st*b, 
the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity, and the mind its bias, te th» 
last,— A 

t It is the fact of Grecian history and poetry having been the studies of the brigm 
morning of our youth that imparts such a charm to all that belongs to this country. Its 
poetry and arts, still, it is true, preserve their supremacy ; but in practical lessons, the 
history of our own Immortal 17th century, and that of the Netherlands, an quite as 
sbuudeat. 



4y 



■© 



1 56 B V A' OX'S POEMS. 

A mightier monument command, 
The mountains of their native land ! 
There points thy muse to stranger's eye 
The graves of those that cannot die : 
'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace, 
Each step from splendour to disgrace : 
Enough — no foreign foe could quell 
Thy soul, till from itself it fell ; 
Yes ! Self-abasement paved the way 
To villain-bonds and despot sway. 

What can he tell who treads thy shore T 

No legend of thine olden time, 
No theme on which the muse might soaL', 
High as thine own in days of yore, 

When man was worthy of thy climw. 
The hearts within thy valleys bred, 
The fiery 6ouls that might have led 

Thy sons to deeds sublime, 
Now crawl from cradle to the grave, 
Slaves — nay, the bondsmen of a slave,* 

And callous, save to crime ; 
Stain'd with each evil that pollutes 
Mankind, where least above the brutes ; 
Without even savage virtue blest, 
Without one free or valiant breast. 
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft 
Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; 
In this the subtle Greek is found, 
For this, and this alone, renown'd. 
In vain mic:ht Liberty invoke 
The spirit to its bondage broke, 
Or raise the neck that courts the yoke . 
No more her sorrows I bewail, 
Yet this will be a mournful tale, 
And they who listen may believe, 
Who heard it first had cause to grieve. 

Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, 
The shadows of the rocks advancing, 
Start on the fisher's eye like boat 
Of island-pirate or Mainote ; 
And fearful for his light caique, 
He shuns the near but doubtful creek : 
Though worn and weary with his toil, 
And cumber'd with his scaly spoil, 
Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar, 
Till Port Leone's safer shore 

* Athens Is the property of the Kislar Aga (the slave of the seraglio and guardian of tfe* 
women) , who appoint; the Waywode. A pander and eunuch — these are not polite yut 
true appellations — now govern* the governor of Athens. — B. 

Such was the case when Byron wrote this note, and Lady Morgan wrote " Ida if Athsnt." 
Since then the powers of Europe have made Oreeoe a kingdom, and given hex at monarch] 
•nether she has reason to be proud in either case, we can hardly say. 



«<*> h© 






THE GIAOUR. 157 

Recoires him by tho lovely light 
That best becomes an Eastern night. 

♦ * • » • 

Who thundering comes on blackest steed, 
With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed ? 
Beneath the clattering iron's sound 
The cavern'd echoes wake around 
Jn lash for lash, and bound for bound ; 
The loam that streaks the courser's side 
Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide : 
Though weary waves are sunk to rest, 
There's none within his rider's breast ; 
And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 
'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour I 
I know thee not, I loathe thy race, 
But in thy lineaments I trace 
What time shall strengthen, not efface : 
Though young and pale, that sallow front 
Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt ; 
Though bent on earth thine evil eye, 
As meteor-like thou glidest by, 
Right well I view and deem thee one 
Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun. 

On — on he hasten'd, and he drew 
My gaze of wonder as he flew : 
Though like a demon of the night 
He pass'd, and vanish'd from my sight, 
His aspect and his air impress'd 
A troubled memory on my breast, 
And long upon my startled ear 
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. 
He spurs his steed ; he nears the steep, 
That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep ; 
He winds around ; he hurries by ; 
The rock relieves him from mine eye ; 
For well I v*een unwelcome he 
Whose glance is fix'd on those that fles ; 
And not a star but shines too bright 
On him who takes such timeless flight. 
He wound along ; but ere he pass'd, 
One glance he snatch' d, as if his last, 
A moment check'd his wheeling steed, 
A moment breathed him from his speed, 
A moment on his stirrup stood — 
Why looks he o'er the olive wood T 
The crescent glimmers on the hill, 
The mosque's high lamps are quivering suii : 
Though too remote for sound to wake 
In echoes of the far tophaike,* 

• " Tophaike," musket. — The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset : the lllu* 
a&n&tion of the mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with tail, 
proclaims it during the ■>i#bi « 



•*H- 



-<i 



4 



158 ^F^OiV'^ POEMS. 

The flashes of each joyous pe*u 

Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeaL 

To-night, set Rhamazani's sun ; , 

To-night, the Bairam feast 's begun ; 

To-night — but who and what art thoc* 

Of foreign garb and fearful brow ? 

And what are these to thine or thee, 

That thou shouldst either pause or flee » 

fle stood — some dread was on his feo£, 
Soon Hatred settled in its place ■ 
It rose not with the reddening flush 
Of transient Anger's hasty blush, 
Hut pale as marble o'er the tomb, 
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom. 
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ; 
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, 
And sternly shook his hand on high, 
As doubting to return or fly : 
Impatient of his flight delay'd, 
Here loud his raven charger neigh'd — 
Down glanced that hand, and grasp'd his b'xjde J 
That sound had burst his waking dream, 
As Slumber starts at owlet's scream. 
The spur hath lanced his courser's sides ; 
Away, away, for life he rides : 
Swift as the hurl'd on high jerreed * 
Springs to the touch his startled steed ; 
The rock is doubled, and the shore 
Shakes with the clattering tramp no more ; 
The crag is won, no more is seen 
His Christian crest and haughty nfien. 
'Twas but an instant he restrain'd 
That fiery barb so sternly rein'd ; 
'Twas but a moment that he stood, 
Then sped as if by death pursued : 
But in that instant o'er his soul 
Winters of Memory seem'd to roll, 
And gather in that drop of time 
A life of pain, an age of crime. 
O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears, 
Such moment pours the grief of years : 
What felt he then, at once oppress'd 
By all that most distracts the breast ? 
That pause, which ponder'd o'er his fate, 
Oh, who its dreary length shall date ! 
Though in Time's record nearly nought, 
It was Eternity to Thought ! 
For infinite as boundless space 
The thought that Conscience must embrace, 

• Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which ia darted from horsebae> wifc& 

reat force and precision. It is a favourite eicercise of the Mussulmans ; but I know net 
it can be called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the black eunuchs of 
Constantinople. I think, next to these- a Ahunluuk at Smyrna was the most jkil/ul 
tb»t came within mv observation.— Jt. 



*± 



-Kiv 



THE GIAOUR. 159 

Whioh in itself can comprehend 
Woe without name, or hope, or end. 

The hour is past, the Giaour is gone J 
And did he fly or fall alone ? 
Woe to that hour he came or went ! 
The curse for Hassan's sin was sent 
To turn a palace to a tomb : 
He came, he went, like the simoom,* 
That harbinger of fate and gloom, 
Beneath whose widely-wasting breath 
The very cypress droops to death — 
Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fledj 
The only constant mourner o'er the dead ! 

The steed is vanish'd from the stall ; 
No serf is seen in Hassan's hall ; 
The lonely Spider's thin gray pall 
Waves slowly widening o'er the wall ; 
The Bat builds in his Haram bower, 
And in the fortress of his power 
The Owl usurps the beacon-tower ; 
The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim, 
With baffled thirst, and famine grim ; 
For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed, 
Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread. 
'Twas sweet of yore to see it play 
And chase the sultriness of day, 
As springing high the silver dew 
In whirls fantastically flew, 
And flung luxurious coolness round 
The air, and verdure o'er the ground. 
'Twas sweet, when cloudless stars were bright, 
To view the wave of v» atery light, 
And hear its melody by might. 
And oft had Hassan's Childhood play'd 
Around the verge of that cascade ; 
And oft upon his mother's breast 
That sound had harmonized his rest ; 
And oft had Hassan's Youth along 
Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song ; 
And softer seem'd each melting tone 
Of Music mingled with its own. 
But ne'er shall Hassan's Age repose 
Along the brink at twilight's close : 
The stream that fill'd that font is fled — 
The blood that warm'd his heart is shed 1 
And here no more shall human voice 
Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. 
The last sad note that swell' d the gale 
Was woman's wildest funeral wail : 
Thai quench'd in silence, all is still, 
But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill ; 

* TW blast oi ' it ' '--t-sct, fatal to everything living, and often alludeil to in iHtfteg) 
peuuy.-A 



4h 



1 60 BYR ON >S POEMS. 

Though raves the gust, and floods the raix^ 
No hand shall close its clasp again. 
On desert sands 'twere joy to scan 
The rudest steps of fellow man ; 
So here the very voice of Grief 
Might wake an Echo like relief — 
At least 'twould say, " All are not gone ; 
There lingers Life, though but in one" — 
For many a gilded chamber 's there, 
Which Solitude might well forbear ; 
Within that dome as yet Decay 
Rath slowly work'd her cankering way — 
Uut gloom is gather 'd o'er the gate, 
Nor there the Fakir's self will wait ; 
Nor there will wandering Dervise stay, 
For bounty cheers not his delay ; 
Nor there will weary stranger halt 
To bless the sacred "bread and salt." * 
Alike must Wealth and Poverty 
Pass heedless and unheeded by, 
For Courtesy and Pity died 
With Hassan on the mountain side. 
His roof, that refuge unto men, 
Is Desolation's hungry den. 
The guest flies the hall, and the vassal from Inbour, 
Since his turban was cleft by the Infidel's sabre 1 f 



I hear the sound of coming feet, 
But not a voice mine ear to greet ; 
More near — each turban I can scan, 
And silver-sheathed ataghan ; £ 
The foremost of the band is seen 
An Emir by his garb of green : § 
"Ho ! who art thou?" — " This low sal am [| 
Replies of Moslem faith I am. " 
" The burthen ye so gently bear 
Seems one that claims your utmost care, 
And, doubtless, holds some precious freight, 
My humble bark would gladly wait.*' 

" Thou speakest sooth ; thy skiff unmoor, 
And waft us from the silent shore ; 

• Vo pwtake of food, to break bread and salt with your host, insures the safety of tUc 
puest : even though an enemy, his person from that moment is sacred. — B. 

t I need hardly observe, that charity and hospitality are the first duties enjoined by 
Mahomet ; and to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praia* 
that can be bestowed on a chief, is a panegyric on his bounty ; the next, on his valour.— B. 

I The ataghan, a long dagger worn with pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, 
generally of silver ; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold. — B. 

§ Green is the privileged colour of the Prophet's numerous pretended descendants ; with 
them, as here, faith (the family inheritance) is supposed to supersede the necessity of 
good works : they are the worst of a very indifferent brood. — B. 

I! " Salam aleikoum 1 aleikoum salam ! " — " Peace be with you ; be with you peaoe " — 
the salutation reserved for the faithful: — to a Christian, " Urlarula 1" — "A too^ 
Journey j" or, " Saban hlresem, saban serula " — " CJood morn, good sven ; " and hii^ 
Uflaaa, " M*y your «&d be (aypy," are the usual salutes. — 6. 




•b 



THE GIAOUR. 161 



^ay, leave the sail still furl'd, and ply 
The nearest oar that's scatter' d by, 
And midway to those rocks where sleep 
The channell'd waters dark and deep. 
Rest from your task — so — bravely done, 
Our course has be-jn right swiftly run ; 
Yet 'tis the longest vovage, I trow, 
That one of " * 



Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, 
The calm wave rippled to the bank ; 
I watch'd it as it sank : methought 
Some motion from the current caught 
Bestirr'd it more, — 'twas but the beam 
That checker'd o'er the living stream : 
I gazed, till vanishing from view, 
Like lessening pebble it withdrew ; 
Still less and less, a speck of white 
That gemm'd the tide, then mock'd the eight \ 
And all its hidden secrets sleep, 
Known but to Genii of the deep, 
Which, trembling in their coral caves, 
They dare not whisper to the waves. 



As rising on its purple wing 
The insect-queen of eastern spring,* 
O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer 
Invites the young pursuer near, 
And leads him on from flower to flower, 
A weary chase and wasted hour, 
Then leaves him, as it soars on high, 
With panting heart and tearful eye : 
So Beauty lures the full-grown child, 
With hue as bright, and wing as wild ; 
A chase of idle hopes and fears, 
Begun in folly, closed in tears. 
If won, to equal ills betray* d, 
Woe waits the insect and the maid ; 
A life of pain, the loss of peace, 
From infant's play and man's caprice ; 
The lovely toy so fiercely sought, 
Hath lost its charm by being caught, 
For every touch that woo'd its stay 
Hath brush' d its brightest hues away, 
Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone, 
'Tis left to fly or fall alone. 
With wounded wing or bleeding breast, 
Ah ! where shall either victim resi '{ 
Can this with faded pinion soar 
From rose to tulip a& before ? 

Tfu Wue-wiaged butterfly oi Kashmeer. the must rare *ad Wuil/ul of ittposLK • 

M 



-i> 



[62 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Or Beetity, blighted in an hour. 
Find joy within her broken bower ? 
No : gayer insects fluttering by 
Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that dle^ 
&n r I lovelier things have mercy shown 
To every failing but their own, 
And every woe a tear can claim, 
Except an erring sister's shame. 

The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woo&, 

Is like the Scorpion girt by fire, 
In circle narrowing as it glows, 
The flames around their captive close, 
Till inly search'd by thousand throes, 

And maddening in her ire, 
One sad and sole relief she knows, 
The sting she nourish' d for her foes, 
Whose venom never yet was vain, 
Gives but one pang, and cures all pain, 
And darts into her desperate brain : 
So do the dark in soul expire, 
Or live like Scorpion girt by fire ;* 
So writhes the mind Remorse hath riven., 
Unfit for earth, undoom'd for heaven, 
Darkness above, despair beneath, 
Around it flame, within it death ! 

• * * * • 

Black Hassan from the Haram flies, 
Nor bends on woman's form his eyes ; 
The unwonted chase each hour employs, 
Yet shares he not the hunter's joys. 
Not thus was Hassan wont to fly 
When Leila dwelt in his Serai. 
Doth Leila there no longer dwell ? 
That tale can only Hassan tell : 
Strange rumours in our city say 
Upon that eve she fled away 
When Rhamazan's last sun was set,+ 
And flashing from each minaret 
Millions of lamps proclaim'd the feast 
Of Bairam through the boundless Eaat. 
'Twas then she went as to the bath, 
Which Hassan vainly search'd in wratL ; 
For she was flown her master's rage, 
In likeness of a Georgian page, 
And far beyond the Moslem's power 
Had wrong'd him with the faithless Giaour. 

• All rM lug to tko dubious suicide of the scorpion, bo placed for experimrrit by geatZc 
philosophers. Some maintain that the position of the sting, when turned towards ths 
bead, is merely a convulsive movement ; but others have actually brought in the vutdict, 
" FeJo de se." The scorpions are surely interested in a speedy decision of the question I 
t», if once fairly established as insect Catos, they will probably be allowed to live oo ioug 
«a they think Draper, without being martyred for the sake of an hypothesja,— B. 

t TL« cuidob at funset close the Rhamazan. See anti, note. p. 1(7. 



♦^ 



4 



e 



THE GIAOUR. 163 

Somewhat of this had Hassan deem'd 
But still so fond, so fair she seem'd, 
Too well he trusted to the slave 
Whose treachery deserved a grave : 
And on that eve had gone to mosque, 
And thence to feast in his kiosk. 
Such is the tale his Nubians tell, 
Who did not watch their charge too well ; 
But others say, that on that night, 
By pale Phingari's* trembling light, 
The Giaour upon his jet-black steed 
Was seen, but seen alone, to speed 
With bloody spur along the shore, 
Nor maid nor page behind him bore. 
* * # * • 

Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell, 
But gaze on that of the Gazelle, 
It will assist thy fancy well ; 
As large, as languishingly dark, 
But Soul beam'd forth in every spark 
That darted from beneath the lid, 
Bright as the jewel of Giamschid.1" 
Yea, Soul, and should our Prophet say 
That form was nought but breathing clay, 
By Alia ! I would answer nay ; 
Though on Al-Sirat's + arch I stood, 
Which totters o'er the fiery flood, 
With Paradise within my view, 
And all his Houris beckoning through. 
Oh ! who young Leila's glance could read 
And keep that portion of his creed, § 
Which saith that woman is but dust, 
A soulless toy for tyrant's lust ? 
On her might Muftis gaze, and own 
That through her eye the Immortal shone ; 
On her fair cheek's unfading hue 
The young pomegranate's blossoms strew |j 
Their bloom in blushes ever new ; 

• Phingari , the moon.— B. 

t The celebrated fabulous ruby of Sultan GLamsehid, the embellisher of Istakhar ; froit 
Its splendour, named Schebgerag, " the Torch of Night ; " also, the " Cup of the Sun," 4c 
In the first edition, " Qiamschid " was written as a word of three syllables ; so D'Herbelot 
has it ; but I am told Richardson reduces It to a dissyllable, and writes " Jamshid." I 
nave left In the text the orthography of the one, with the pronunciation of the other. — B. 

Most writers now would prefix a D, which reconciles the Eastern with the Italian 
pronunciation. 

X Al-Sirat, the bridge of breadth, less than the thread of a famished spider, over which 
the Mussulmans must skate into Paradise, to which it is the only entrance ; but this is 
not the worst, the river beneath being hell itself, into which, as may be expected, the 
unskilful and tender of foot contrive to tumble with a " facilis descensus Avernl," not 
very pleasing in prospect to the next passenger. There is a shorter cut downwards to the 
Jew* and Christians. — B. 

§ A vulgar error : the Koran allots at least a third of Paradise to well-T>ehaved women 
but by far the greater number of Mussulmans interpret the text their own way, and 
■exclude their moieties from heaven. Being enemies to Platonics, they cannot discern 
" any fitness of things " in the souls of the other sex, conceiving them to be superseded 
oy the Hourles. — B. 

1 An oriental simile, which may, perhaps, though fairly stolen, be deemed "pine 
irtoe qu'en Arahie." — B. 

M 2 



♦&- 4* 

1 64 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Her hair in hyacinthine flow,* 
"When left to roll its folds below, 
As midst her handmaids in the hall 
She stood superior to them all, 
Hath swept the marble where her feet 
Gleam'd whiter than the mountain sleot, 
Ere from the cloud that gave it birth 
It fell, and caught one stain of earth. 
The cygnet nobly walks the water ; 
So moved on earth Circassia's daughter, 
The loveliest bird of Franguestan ! t 
As rears her crest the ruffled Swan, 

And spurns the wave with wings of pride. 
When pass the steps of stranger man 

Along the banks that bound her tide ; 
Thus rose fair Leila's whiter neck : — 
Thus arm'd with beauty would she check 
Intrusion's glance, till Folly's gaze 
Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise : 
Thus high and graceful was her gait ; 
Her heart as tender to her mate ; 
Her mate — stern Hassan, who was he ? 
Alas I that name was not for thee ! 

• » ♦ # ■ 

Stern Hassan hath a jon»ney ta'en 
With twenty vassals in hi/ train, 
Each arm'd, as best becomes a man, 
With arquebuss and ataghan ; 
The chief before, as deck'd for war, 
Beais in his belt the scimitar 
Staiii'd with the best of Arnaut blood, 
When in the pass the rebels stood, 
And few return'd to tell the tale 
Of w hat befell in Parne's vale. 
The pistols which his girdle bore 
Wei e those that once a pacha wore, 
Wb ch still, though gemm'd and boss'd with guld, 
Even robbers tremble to behold. 
f Tis said he goes to woo a bride 
More true than her who left his side ; 
The faithless slave that broke her bower, 
And, worse than faithless, for a Giaour ! 

• » * * • 

The sun's last rays are on the hill, 
And sparkle in the fountain rill, 
Whose welcome waters, cool and clear, 
Draw blessings from the mountaineer ; 
Here may the loitering merchant Greek 
Find that repose 'twere vain to seek, 

Hyadalfcine, in Arabic " Sunbul ,•" as oommon a thought in the MuCerti poetavd 
V»«e tiAiong the Greeks. — B. 
1 " FranaueBtui," CircaBsia. -B, 



, 



<}* 



THE GIAOUR. 165 



In cities, lodged too near his lord, 
And trembling for his secret hoard — 
Here may he rest whore none can sec, 
In crowds a slave, in deserts free ; 
And with forbidden wine may stain 
The bowl a Moslem must not drain. 



TWe foremost Tartar 's in the gap, 
Conspicuous by his yellow cap ; 
The rest in lengthening line the while 
Wind slowly through the long defile : 
Above, the mountain rears a peak, 
Where vultures whet the thirsty beak ; 
And theirs may be a feast to-night, 
Shall tempt them down ere morrow's UgbtJ 
Beneath, a river's wintry stream 
Has shrunk before the summer beam, 
And left a channel bleak and bare, 
Save shrubs that spring to perish there : 
Each side the midway path there lay 
Small broken crags of granite gray, 
By time, or mountain lightning, rivet 
From summits clad in mists of heaven ; 
For where is he that hath beheld 
The peak of Liakura unveil' d ? 

* * * * • 

They reach the grove of pine at last : 
" Bismillah ! * now the peril 's past ; 
For yonder view the opening plain, 
And there we'll prick our steeds amain : " 
The Chiaus spake, and as he said, 
A bullet whistled o'er his head ; 
The foremost Tartar bites the ground ! 

Scarce had they time to check the rein, 
Swift from their steeds the riders bound ; 

But three shall never mount again : 
Unseen the foes that gave the wound, 

The dying ask revenge in vain. 
With steel unsheath'd, and carbine bent» 
Some o'er their courser's harness leant, 

Half sheltered by the steed ; 
Some fly behind the nearest rock, 
And there await the coming shock, 

Nor tamely stand to bleed 
Beneath the shaft of foes unseen, 
Who dare not quit their craggy screen. 
Stern Hassan only from his horse 
Disdains to light, and keeps his course, 
Till fiery flashes in the van 
Proclaim too sure the robber-clan 

fftiroilloh — " In the name of God ;" the commencement o< all the chapters of the 
ltoraa but vne, and of prayer and thanksgiving.— &. 



~<j> 



1 66 BYR ON 'S POEMS. 

Have well secured the only way 
Could now avail the promised prey ; 
Then curl'd his very beard with ire,* 
And glared his eye with fiercer fire : 
" Though far and near the bullets bias 
I've 'scaped a bloodier hour than this." 
And now the foe their covert quit, 
And call his vassals to submit ; 
But Hassan's frown and furious word 
Are dreaded more than hostile sword, 
Nor of his little band a man 
Resign'd carbine or ataghan, 
Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun \f 
In fuller sight more near and near, 
The lately ambush'd foes appear, 
And, issuing from the grove, advance 
Some who on battle charger prance. 
Who leads them on with foreign brand, 
Far flashing in his red right hand ? 
" 'Tis he ! tis he ! I know him now ; 
I know him by his pallid brow ; 
I know him by the evil eye £ 
That aids his envious treachery ; 
I know him by his jet-black barb ; 
Though now arrayM in Arnaut garb, 
Apostate from his own vile faith, 
It shall not save nim from the death : 
'Tis he ! well met in any hour, 
Lost Leila's love, accursed Giaour !" 

As rolls the river into ocean, 
In sable torrent wildly streaming ; 

As the sea-tide's opposing motion, 
In azure column proudly gleaming, 
Beats back the current many a rood, 
In curling foam and mingling flood, 
While eddying whirl, and breaking wave, 
Roused by the blasts of winter, rave ; 
Through sparkling spray, in thundering clash, 
The lightnings of the waters flash 
In awful whiteness o'er the shore, 
That shines and shakes beneath the roar ; 
Thus — as the stream and ocean greet, 
With waves that madden as they meet — 
Thus join the bands, whom mutual wrong, 
And fate, and fury, drive along. 

* A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry Mussulman. In 1809, Rte Oyl>j 
Pacha's whiskers at a diplomatic audience were no less lively with Indignation than a 
tiger cat's, to the horror of all the dragomans ; the portentous mustachios twisted, they 
stood erect of their own accord, and were expected every moment to change their colour, 
bat at last condescended to subside, which, probably saved more heads than they con- 
tained beirs.— B. 

I" Amaun," quarter, pardon. — B. 
The *■ evil eye," a common superstition In the Levant, and of wblch the inmg&aKy 
offsets am yet very singular on those who conceive themselves affected.— B. 



V 



+t}+ 



<> 



7 HE GIAOUR. ^7 

TLe bickering sabres' shivering jar ; 

And, pealing wide or ringing near, 

Its echoes on the throbbing ear, 
The deathshot hissing from afar ; 
The shock, the shout, the groan of war, 

Reverberate along that vale, 

More suited to the shepherd's tale : 
Though few the numbers — theirs the strife, 
That neither spares nor speaks for life I 
Ah ! fondly youthful hearts can press, 
To seize and share the dear caress ; 
But love itself could never pant 
For all that Beauty sighs to grant, 
With half the fervour Hate bestows 
Upon the last embrace of foes, 
When grappling in the fight they fold 
Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold : 
Friends meet to part ; Love laughs at faith • 
True foes, once met, are join'd till death I 

With sabre shiver'd to the hilt, 

Yet dripping with the blood he spilt ; 

Yet strain'd within the sever'd hand 

Which quivers round that faithless brand ; 

His turban far behind him roll'd, 

And cleft in twain its firmest fold ; 

His flowing robe by falchion torn, 

And crimson as those clouds of morn 

That, streak'd with dusky red, portend 

The day shall have a stormy end ; 

A stain on every bush that bore 

A fragment of his palampore,* 

His breast with wounds unnumber'd riven, 

His back to earth, his face to heaven, 

Fall'n Hassan lies — his unclosed eye 

Yet lowering on his enemy, 

As if the hour that seal'd his fate 

Surviving left his auenchless hate ; 

And o'er him bends that toe, with brow 

As dark as his that bled below. — 



" Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave, 
But his shall be a redder grave ; 
Her spirit pointed well the steel 
Which taught that felon heart to feel. 
He call'd the Prophet, but his power 
Was vain against the vengeful Giaour : 
He call'd on Alia — but the worcr 
Arose unheeded or unheard. 
Thou Paynim fool ! could Leila's prayer 
Be pass'd, and thine accorded there ? 

* The flowered shawls generally worn by persons & rank.— B, 



<> 



TW 



1 68 BYRON'S POEMS. 

I wateh'd my time, I leagued with these. 
The traitor in his turn to seize ; 
My wrath is wreak' d, the deed is d&ne, 
And now I go— but go alone." 



The browsing camels 5 bells are tinkling : 
Hia Mother look'd from her lattice high — 

She saw the dews of eve besprinkling 
The pasture green beneath her eye, 

She saw the planets faintly twinkling : 
" 'Tis twilight — sure his train is nigh." 
She could not rest in the garden-bower, 
But gazed through the grate of his steepest tov/er i 
" Why comes he not ? his steeds are fleet, 
Nor shrink they from the summer heat ; 
Why sends not the bridegroom his promised gift f 
Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift ? 
Oh, false reproach ; yon Tartar now 
Has gain'd our nearest mountain's brow, 
And warily the steep descends, 
And now within the valley bends ; 
-And he bears the gift at his saddle bov/— 
How could I deem his courser slow ? 
Right well my largess shall repay 
His welcome speed, and weary way." 

The Tartar lighted at the gate, 
But scarce upheld his fainting weight ; 
His swarthy visage spake distress, 
But this might be from weariness ; 
His garb with sanguine spots was dyed, 
But these might be from his courser's side . 
He drew the token from his vest — 
Angel of Death ! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest 1 
His calpac* rent — his caftan red — 
" Lady, a fearful bride thy Son hath wad : 
Me, not from mercy, did they spare, 
But this empurpled pledge to bear. 
Peace to the brave ! whose blood is spilt ; 
Woe to the Giaour ! for his the guilt." 

e • * * • 

A turban carved in coarsest stone,+ 
1 pillar with rank weeds o'ergrown, 
W hereon can now be scarcely read 
Tl e Koran verse that mourns the dead, 
Point out the spot where Hassan fell 
\. victim in that lonely delh 

* The ealrao is the solid cap or oentre part of the head-dress ; the shawl 1* wousmI reuui 
It, and forms the turban.— B. 

t Tue turban, pillar, and inscriptive verse, decorate the tombs of the Oemanliss, 
whether in the cemetery or the wilderness. In the mountains you frequently pas* similar 
mementos ; and on inquiry yon are informed that they record some victim of retttUloa, 
plunder, or revenge— £, 



4*T* " '^•■*f*■■^ fc *^ ,, •■* 



- ■ ■ ' ' ■ ■ — 



— *0: 



— < 



THE GIAOUR. 169 

There sleeps as true an Osmanlie 

As e'er at Mecca bent the knee ; 

As ever scorn'd forbidden wine, 

Or pray'd with face towards the shrine, 

In orisons resumed anew 

At solemn sound of " Alia Hu ! " * 

Yet died he by a stranger's hand, 

And stranger in his native land ; 

Yet died he as in arms ho" «t°.°"». 

And unavenged, at least in blood.'" 

But him the maids ef Paradise 

Impatient to their halls invite, 
And the dark heaven of Houris' eyes 

On him shall glance for ever bright ; 
They comei — their kerchiefs green they v/ave,"^ 
And welcome with a kiss the brave ! 
Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour 
Is worthiest an immortal bower. 



But thou, false Infidel ! shall writhe 
Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe ; % 
And from its torments 'scape alone 
To wander round lost Eblis' § throne ; 
And fire, unquench'd, unquenchable, 
Around, within, thy heart shall dwell ; 
Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell 
The tortures of that inward hell ! 
But first, on earth as Vampire sent || 
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent : 
Then ghastly haunt thy native place, 
And suck the blood of all thy race ; 
There from thy daughter, sister, wife, 
At midnight drain the stream of life ; 
Yet loath the banquet which perforce 
Must feed thy livid living corse : 
Thy victims, ere they yet expire, 
Shall know the demon for their sire, 

• " Alia Hu I " the concluding word* of the Muezzin's call to prayer from the highest 
jallery on the exterior of the minaret. On a still evening, when the Muezzin has a fine 
voice, which is frequently the case, the effect is solemn and beautiful beyond all the bells 
U. Christendom. — 3. 

t The following is part of a battle-song of the Turks : — " I see — I Bee a dark-eyed girl of 
Paradise, and she waves a handkerchief, a kerchief of green ; and cries aloud, ' Come, 
kiss me, for I love thee,'" Ac. — B. 

I Monkir and Nekir are the inquisitors of the dead, before whom the corpse undergoes 
• slight noviciate and preparatory training for damnation. If the answers are none af 
the clearest, he is hauled up with a scythe and thumped down with a red-hot mace till 
properly seasoned, with a variety of subsidiary probations. The office of these angels is 
no sinecure ; there are but two, and the number of orthodox deceased being in a small 
proportion to the remainder, their hands are always full. Consult Sale's Koran. — B. 

§ Eblis, the Oriental Prince of Darkness. — B. 

if The Vampire superstition is still general in the Levant. Honest Tournefort tell* a 
long story, which Mr. Southey, in his notes on " Thalaba," quotes, about these " Vnra- 
colochas," as he calls them. The Romaic term is " Vardoulacha." I recollect a whole 
family being terrified by the scream of a child, which they imagined must proceed from 
such a visitation. The Greeks never mention the word without horror. I find that 
*' Broucolokas " is an old legitimate Hellenic appellation — at least is so applied to Arse- 
nius, who, according to the Creeks, was after his deatn animated by the Devil. — Tba 
taederna, however, use the word I mention. — B 



4 4 



*"©"♦ 



17° BYRON'S POEMS. 

As cursing thee, tho^i cursing them, 
Ihy flowers are wither'd on the stern. 
But one that for thy crime must fall, 
The youngest, most beloved of all, 
Shall bless thee with a fathers name- 
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame t 
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark 
Her cheek's last tinge, her e^-' \ *.- * 
And the last glassy %h a •• . ■» B s H st s P anc 5 
Which freeze* v ? i ^ce must view 
" , n ^i - vOfn; ul"its lifeless blue; 
Tni jnfii unhallow'd hand shalt tear 
The Tresses of her yellow hair, 
Of which in life a lock when shorn 
Affection's fondest pledge was worn ; 
But now is borne away by thee, 
Memorial of thine agony ! 
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip 
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip j 
Then stalking to thy sullen grave, 
Go — and with Gouls and Afrits rave ; 
Till these in horror shrink away 
From spectre more accursed than they I 
• # • • 

u How name ye yon lone Caloyer ? 

His features I have scann'd before 
In mine own \and : 'tis many a year, 

Since, dashing by the lonely shore, 
I saw him urge as fleet a steed 
As ever served a horseman's need. 
But once I saw that face, yet then 
It was so mark'd with inward pain, 
I could not pass it by again ; 
It breathes the same dark spirit now, 
As death were stamp'd upon his brow." 
' ' 'Tis twice three years at summer tide 

Since first among our freres he came ; 
And here it soothes him to abide 

For some dark deed he will not name, 
But never at our vesper prayer, 
Nor e'er before confession chair 
Kneels he, nor recks he when arise 
Incense or anthem to the skies, 
But broods within his cell alone, 
His faith and race alike un known. 
The sea from Paynim land he eross'd, 
And here ascended from the coast ; 
Yet seems he not of Othman race, 
But only Christian in his face : 
I'd judge him some stray renegade, 
Repentant of the change he made, 
Save that he shuns our holy shrine, 
Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine. 

*Tlse freshness of the face, and the wetness of the lip with blood, an the wvsr-fafJJInj 
Eigne of » Vampire. The stories told in Hungary and Gieece ot there fool lesdtrs ait 
sLa*ulaj. and some of them most incredibly attested. — B. 



■*> 



■*<&* 



THE GIAOUR. 171 

Great largess to these walls be brought. 
And tbus our abbot's favour bought ; 
But were I prior, not a day 
Should brook such stranger's further stay,. 
Or pert within oui penance cull 
Should doom him there for aye to dwell. 
Much in his visions mutters he 
Of maiden 'whelm'd beneath the sea ; 
Of sabres clashing, foemen flying, 
Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying. 
On cliff he hath been known to stand* 
And rave as to some bloody hand, 
Fresh sever'd from its parent limb, 
Invisible to all but him, 
Which beckons onward to his grave, 
And lures to leap into the wave." 



Dark and unearthly is the scowl 

That glares beneath his dusky cowl : 

The flash of that dilating eye 

Reveals too much of times gone by ; 

Though varying, indistinct its hue, 

Oft will his glance the gazer rue, 

For in it lurks that nameless spell, 

Which speaks, itself unspeakable, 

A spirit yet unquell'd and high, 

That claims and keeps ascendancy : 

And like the bird whose pinions quake, 

But cannot fly the gazing snake, 

Will others quail beneath his look, 

Nor 'scape the glance they scarce can brook. 

From him the half-affrighted Friar 

When met alone would fain retire, 

As if that eye and bitter smile 

Transferr'd to others fear and guile : 

Not oft to smile descendeth he, 

And when he doth, 'tis sad to see 

That he but mocks at Misery. 

How that pale lip will curl and quiv T ! 

Then fix once more as if for ever ; 

As if his sorrow or disdain 

Forbade him e'er to smile again. 

Well were it so — such ghastly mirth 

From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth. 

But sadder still it were to trace 

What once were feelings in that face \ 

Time hath not yet the features fix'd, 

But brighter traits with evil mix'd ; 

And there are hues not always faded, 

Which speak a mind not all degraded, 

Even by the crimes through which it waded i 

The common crowd but see the gloom 

Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom ; 



><P 



172 BYRON 'S POEMS. 

Hie close observer can espy 
A noble soul, and lineage high : 
Alas ! though both bestow' d in vain, 
Which Grief could change, and Guilt could stain 
It was no vulgar tenement 
To which such lofty gifts were lent, 
And still with little lass than dread 
On such the sight is riveted. 
The roofless cot, decay 'd and rent, 
Will scarce delay the passer by ; 
The tower by war or tempest bent, 
V/hile yet may frown one battlement, 

Demands and daunts the stranger's eye ; 
Each ivied arch and pillar lone 
Reads haughtily for glories gone ! 

"His floating robe around him folding, 

Slow sweeps he through the column'd ai£l°5 

With dread beheld, with gloom beholding 
The rites that sanctify the pi4e. 

But when the anthem shakes the choir, 

And kneel the monks, his steps retire ; 

By yonder lone and wavering torch 

His aspect glares within the porch ; 

There will he pause till all is done — 

And hear the prayer, but utter none. 

See — by the halt-illumined wall 

His hood fly back, his dark hair fid', 

That pale brow wildly wreathinsr round, 

As if the Gorgon there had bound 

The sablest of the serpent-braid 

That o'er her fearful forehead stray'd : 

For he declines the convent oath, 

And leaves those locks unhallow'd growth. 

But wears our garb in all beside ; 

And, not from piety but pride, 

Gives wealth to walls that never heard 

Of his one holy vow nor word. 

Lo ! — mark ye, as the harmony 

D eals louder praises to the sky, 

That livid cheek, that stony air 

Of mix'd defiance and despair ! 

Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine f 

Else may we dread the wrath divine 

Made manifest by awful sign. 

[f ever evil angel bore 

The form of mortal, such he wore : 

By all my hope of sins forgiven, 

Such looks are not of earth nor heaven l 33 

To love the softest hearts are prone, 
But such can ne'er be all his own ; 
Too timid in his woes to share, 
Too meek to meet, or brave desptir j 

^ ^h 



<* 



THE GIAOUR. 173 

And sterner hearts alone may feel 
The wound that time can never heal. 
The rugged metal of the mine 
Must burn before its surface shine, 
But plunged within the furnace-flame, 
It bends and melts — though still the sail*; 
Then temper'd to thy want, or will, 
'Twill serve thee to defend or kill ; 
A breast-plate for thine hour of need, 
Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed ; 
But if a dagger's form it bear, 
Let those who shape its edge, beware J 
Thus passion's fire, and woman's art, 
Can turn and tame the sterner heart ; 
From these its form and tone are ta'en, 
And what they make it, must remain, 
But break — before it bend again. 



If solitude succeed to grief, 
Release from pain is slight relief ; 
The vacant bosom's wilderness 
Might thank the pang that made it less. 
We loathe what none are left to share : 
Even bliss — 'twere woe alone to bear ; 
The heart once left thus desolate 
Must fly at last for ease — to hate. 
It is as if the dead could feel 
The icy worm around them steal, 
And shudder as the reptiles creep 
To revel o'er their rotting sleep, 
Without the power to scare away 
The cold consumers of their clay ! 
It is as if the desert-bird,* 

Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream 

To still her famish'd nestlings' scream, 
Nor mourns a life to them transferr'd, 
Should rend her rash devoted breast, 
And find them flown her empty nest. 
The keenest pangs the wretched find 

Are rapture to the dreary void, 
The leafless desert of the mind, 

The waste of feelings unemploy'd. 
Who would be doom'd to gaze upon 
A sky without a cloud or sun ? 
Less hideous far the tempest's roar 
Than ne'er to brave the billow? mora-— 
Thrown, when the war of winds is o'er, 
A lonely wreck on fortune's shere, 
'Mid sullen calm, and silent bay, 
Unseen to drop by dull decay ; — 

• The pelioan Is, I believe, the bird so libelled by ins imputation of CssSisg Se> aht&t 
tus with her blood.— A 



+&■ 



*$ 



1 74 B YR ON 'S POEMS. 

Latter to sink beneath the shock 

Than moulder piecemeal on the rock! 

» » * * 4 

* Father ! thy days have pass'd in peace, 

'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer J 
To bid the sins of others cease, 

Thyself without a crime or care. 
Save transient ills that all must bear, 
Has been thy lot from youth to age ; 
And thou wilt bless thee from the rago 
Of passions fierce and uncontroll'd, 
Such as thy penitents unfold, 
Whose secret sins and sorrows rest 
Within thy pure and pitying breast. 
My days, though few, have pass'd below 
In much of joy, but more of woe ; 
Yet still in hours of lovt> or strife, 
I've 'scaped the weariness of life : 
Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, 
I loathed the languor of repose. 
Now nothing left to love or hate, 
No more with hope or pride elate, 
I'd rather be the thing that crawls 
Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walk, 
Than pass my dull, unvarying days, 
Condemn'd to meditate and gaze. 
Yet, lurks a wish within my breast 
For rest — but not to feel 'tis rest. 
Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil ; 

And I shall sleep without the dream 
Of what I was, and would be still, 

Dark as to thee my deeds may seem : 
My memory now is but the tomb 
Of joys long dead ; my hope, their doom \ 
Though better to have died with those 
Than bear a life of lingering woes. 
My spirit shrunk not to sustain 
The searching throes of ceaseless pain ; 
Nor sought the self-accorded grave 
Of ancient fool and modern knave : 
Yet death I have not fear'd to meet ; 
And in the field it had been sweet, 
Had danger woo'd me on to move 
The slave of glory, not of love. 
I've braved it — not for honour's boaot J 
I smile at laurels won or lost ; 
To such let others carve their way, 
For high renown, or hireling pay : 
But place again before my eyes 
A.ught that I deem a worthy prize ; 
The maid I love, the man I hate, 
And I will hunt the steps of fate, 
To save or slay, as these require, 
Through rending steel, and rolling fire; 



& 



^cv 



THE GIAOUR. 175 

Nor need'st thou doubt this speech from on** 

Who would but do — what he hath done. 

Death is but what the haughty bravo, 

The weak must bear, the wretch must crave ; 

Then let Life go to Him who gave : 

I have not quaiPd to danger's brow 

When high and happy — need I now t 
« * * * • 

M I loved her, Friar ! nay, adored — 

But these are words that all can use — 
I proved it more in deed than word ; 
There's blood upon that dinted sword, 

A stain its steel can never lose : 
'Twas shed for her, who died for me, 

It warm'd the heart of one abhorr'd : 
Nay, start not — no — nor bend thy knee, 

Nor midst my sins such act record ; 
Thou wilt absolve me from the deed, 
For he was hostile to thy creed — 
The very name of Nazarene 
Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen. 
Ungrateful fool ! since but for brands 
Well wielded in some hardy hands, 
And wounds by Galileans given, 
The surest pass to Turkish heaven, 
For him his Houris still might wait 
Impatient at the Prophet's gate. 
I loved her — love will find its way 
Through paths where wolves would fear to prey J 
And if it dares enough, 'twere hard 
If passion met not some reward — 
No matter how, or where, or why, 
I did not vainly seek, nor sigh : 
Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain 
I wish she had not loved again. 
She died — I dare not tell thee how ; 
But look — 'tis written on my brow ! 
There read of Cain the curse and crime, 
In characters unworn by time : 
Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause ; 
Not mine the act, though I the cause. 
Yet did he but what I had done, 
Had she been false to more than one. 
Faithless to him, he gave the blow ; 
But true to me, I laid him low : 
Howe'er deserved her doom might be, 
Her treachery was truth to me ; 
To me she gave her heart, that all 
Which tyranny can ne'er enthral ; 
And I, alas ! too late to save ! 
Yet all I then could give, I gave — 
'Twas some relief— our foe a grave. 
His death sits lightly ; but her fate 
Has made me — what thou well mayst hate. 



<f)- 



4 



i 7 6 B YR OJV'S POEMS. 

His doom was seal'd — he knew it \rolL, 
Warn'd by the voice of stern Taheer, 
Deep in whose darkly boding ear* 
The deathshot peal'd of murder near, 

As filed the troop to where they fell ! 
He died too in the battle broil, 
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil ; 
One cry to Mahomet for aid, 
One prayer to Alia all he made : 
He knew and cross'd me in the fray — 
I gazed upon him where he lay, 
And watch'd his spirit ebb away : 
Though pierced like pard by hunter's steel, 
He felt not half that now I feel. 
I search'd, but vainly search'd, to find 
The workings of a wounded mind ; 
Each feature of that sullen corse 
Betray'd his rage, but no remorse. 
Oh, what had Vengeance given to traco 
Despair upon his dying face ! 
The late repentance of that hour, 
When Penitence hath lost her power 
To tear one terror from the grave, 
And will not soothe, and cannot save. 

***** 

*■ The cold in clime are cold in blood, 
Their love can scarce deserve the name ; 

• ThU superstition of a second-hearing (for I never met with downright second -rlgfc). In 
the East) fell once under my own observation. On my third journey to Cape Coloana, 
early in 1811, as we passed through the defile that leads from the hamlet between Keratia 
and Colonna, I observed Dervish Tahiri riding rather out of the path, and leaning hit 
head upon his hand, as if in pain. I rode up and inquired. " We are in peril," be 
answered. " What peril T we are not now in Albania, nor in the passes to Epherus, 
Measalunghi, or Lepanto ; there are plenty of us, well armed, and the Choriatea have 
not courage to be thieves." — " True, Aii'euili, but nevertheless the shot is ringing in my 
ears." — " The shot 1 not a tophaike has been fired this morning." — " I hear it, notwith- 
standing — Bom — Bom— as plainly as I hear your voice "—" Psha I" — "As you pleaee, 
Arleiuti ; if it is written, so will it be." — I left this quick-ejired predestinarian, and rode up 
to Basili, his Christian compatriot, whose ears, though not at all prophetic, by no means 
relished the intelligence. We all arrived at Colonna, remained some hours, and returned 
leisurely, saying a variety of brilliant things, in more languages than spoiled the build- 
ing of Babel, upon the mistaken seer. Romaic, Arnaut, Turkish, Italian, and English 
were all exercised, in various conceits, upon the unfortunate Mussulman. While we 
were contemplating the beautiful prospect, Dervish was occupied about the columi *. 
I thought he was deranged into an antiquarian, and asked him if he had become a 
" Palac-cnstro" man? " No," said he, " but these pillars will be useful in making » 
stand ;" and added other remarks, which at least evinced his own belief in hi* troubl ■• 
lonie faculty of fore-hearing. On our return to Athens we heard from Leone (a prisoner 
not ashore some days after) of the intended attack ef the Mainotes, mentioned, with th« 
cause of its not biking place, in the notes to " Childe Harold," Canto II. I was at some 
jxvins to question the man, and he described the dresses, amis, and marks of the horses 
of our party so accurately, that, with other circumstances, we could not doubt of his 
toeing in " villanous company," and ourselves in a bad neighbourhood. Dervish becam* 
c soothsayer for life, and I dare say he is now hearing more musketry than ever will be 
fired, to the great refreshment of the Arnauts of Berat, and his native mountains. — 1 
•hull mention one trait more of this singular race. In March, 1S11, a remarkably stout 
and active Arnaut came (I believe the fiftieth on the same errand) to offer himself as an 
attendant, which was declined. " Well, AfTendi," quoth he, " may you live 1 — yoq 
would have found me useful. I shall leave the town for the hills to-morrow ; in the 
winter I return, perhaps you will then receive me." — Dervish, who was present, 
remarked as a thing of course, and of no consequence, " in the mean time, he will joia 
the Klephtes " (robbers), which was true to the letter. If not cut oif, they come down A 
the winter, and pats it unmolested in some town, where they are often as well known w 
their exploits.— ix 






THE GIAOUR. 177 

But mine was like the lava flood 

That boils in ^Etna's breast of flame. 
I cannot prate in puling strain 
Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain : 
If changing cheek, and scorching vein, 
1-ips taught to writhe, but not complaim, 
if bursting heart, and madd'ning brain. 
And daring deed, and vengeful steol, 
And all that I have felt, and feel, 
Betoken love — Uiat love was mine, 
A nd shown by many a bitter sign. 
'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh, 
I knew bit to obtain or die. 
I die — but first, I have possess'd, 
And come what may, I have been bless' cL. 
Shall I the doom I sought upbraid? 
No — reft of all, yet undismay'd 
But for the thought of Leila slain, 
Give me the pleasure with the pain, 
So would I live and love again. 
I grieve, but not, my holy guide ' 
For him who dies, but her who died : 
She sleeps beneath the wandering wave— 
Ah ! had she but an earthly grave, 
This breaking heart and throbbing head 
Should seek and share her narrow bed. 
She was a form of life and light, 
That, seen, became a part of sight ; 
And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye, 
The Morning-star of Memory ! 

" Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven ; 

A spark of that immortal fire 
With angels shared, by Alia given, 

To lift from earth our low desire. 
Devotion wafts the mind above, 
But Heaven itself descends in love ; 
A feeling from the Godhead caught, 
To wean from self each sordid thought j 
A Ray of Him who form'd the whole ; 
A Glory circling round the soul ! 
I grant my love imperfect, all 
That mortals by the name miscall ; 
Then deem it evil, what thou wilt ; 
But say, oh say, hers was not guilt ! 
She was my life's unerring light : 
That quench' d, what beam shall break .rty mghl i 
Oh ! would it shone to lead me still, 
Although to death or deadliest ill ! 
Why marvel ye, if they who lose 

This present joy, this future hope, 

No more with sorrow meekly cope ; 
In phrensy then their fate accuse : 
u 






A 



►e* 



*€>*- 



[78 B\ RON'S POEMS, 

In madness do those fearful deeds 

That seem to add but guilt to woe ? 
Alas ! the breast that inly bleeds 

Hath nought to dread from outward blow/ ? 
Who falls from all he knows of bliss, 
Cares little into what abyss. 
Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now 

To thee, old man, my deeds appear : 
t read abhorrence on thy brow, 

And this too was I born to bear ! 
Tis true, that like that bird of prey, 
With havoc have I mark'd my way : 
But this was taught me by the dove, 
To die — and know no second love. 
This lesson yet hath man to learn, 
Taught by the thing he dares to spurn: 
The bird that sings within the brake, 
The swan that swims upon the lake, 
One mate, and one alone, will take. 
And let the fool still prone to range, 
And sneer on all who cannot change, 
Partake his jest with boasting boys ; 
I envy not his varied joys, 
But deem such feeble, heartless man, 
Less than yon solitary swan ; 
Far, far beneath the shallow maid 
He left believing and betray'd. 
Such shame at least was never mine — 
Leila ! each thought was only thine • 
My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, 
My hope on high — my all below. 
Earth holds no other like to thee, 
Or, if it doth, in vain for me : 
For worlds I dare not view the dame 
Resembling thee, yet not the same. 
The very crimes that mar my youth, 
This bed of death — attest my truth ! 
Tis all too late — thou wert, thou art 
The cherish'd madness of my heart ! 

" And she was lost — and yet I breathed, 

But not the breath of human life ; 
A serpent round my heart was wreathed, 
And stung my every thought to strife. 
Alike all time, abhorr'd all place, 
Shuddering I shrunk from Nature's fao©> 
Where every hue that charm'd before, 
The blackness of my bosom wore. 
The rest thou dost already know, 
And all my sins, and half my woe. 
But talk no more of penitence ; 
Thou seest I soon shall part from hence J 
And if thy holy tale were true, 
The deed that's done, sanst thou undo' 



i>- 



4- 



THE GIAOUR. 179 

"Think me not thankless — but this grief 
Looks not to priesthood for relief.* 
My soul*fc estate in secret guess : 
But wouldst thou pity more, say lesa. 
When thou canst bid my Leila liv», 
Then will I sue thee to forgive ; 
Then plead my cause in that high place 
Where purchased masses proffer grace. 
Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung 
From forest-cave her shrieking young, 
And calm the lonely lioness : 
But soothe not — mock not my distress ! 

u In earlier days, and calmer hours, 

When heart with heart delights to blend, 
Where bloom my native valley's bowers, 

I had — Ah ! have I now ? — a friend ! 
To him this pledge I charge thee send, 

Memorial of a youthful vow ; 
I would remind him of my end : 

Though souls absorb' d like mine allow 
Brief thought to distant friendship's claim, 
Yet dear to him my blighted name. 
'Tis strange — he prophesied my doom, 

And I have smiled — I then could smile — 
When Prudence would his voice assume, 

And warn — I reck'd not what — the while : 
But now remembrance whispers o'er 
Those accents scarcely mark'd before. 
Say — that his bodings came to pass, 

And he will start to hear their truth, 

And wish his words had not been sooth • 
Tell him, unheeding as I was, 

Through many a busy bitter scene 

Of all our goldon youth had been, 
In pain, my faltering tongue had tried 
To bless his memory ere I died ; 
But Heaven in wrath would turn away, 
If Guilt should for the guiltless pray. 
I do not ask him not to blame, 
Too gentle he to wound my name ; 
And what have I to do with fame ? 
I do not ask him not to mourn, 
Such cold request might sound like scorn , 
And what than friendship's manly tear 
May better grace a brother's bier ? 
But bear this ring, his own of old, 
And tell him — what thou dost behold f 
The wither'd frame, the ruin'd mind, 
The wrack by passion left behind, 

• The monk's sermon 1b omitted. It seems to have Had so little effect upon th« patient, 
that It could have no hopes from the reader. It may be sufficient to say, that it was of a 
customary length (as may be perceived from the interruptions and uneasiness of the 
penitent), and was delivered in the nasal tone of all orthodox preachers.— B. 

s 2 




^-«- 



180 BYRON'S POEMS. 

A shrivell'd scroll, a scatter' d leaf, 
Sear'd by the autumn blast of grief I 
• • * * 

" Tell me no more of fancy's gleam, 
No, father, no, 'twas not a dream ; 
Alas ! the dreamer first must sleep, — 
I only watch' d, and wish'd to weep ; 
But could not, for my burning' brow 
Throbb'd to the very brain as now : 
I wish'd but for a single tear, 
As something welcome, new, and dear ; 
I wish'd it then, I wish it still ; 
Despair is stronger than my will. 
Waste not thine orison, despair 
Is mightier than thy pious prayer : 
I would not, if I might, be blest ; 
I want no paradise, but rest. 
Twas then, I tell thee, father! then 
I saw her ; yes, she lived again ; 
And shining in her white symar,* 
As through yon pale gray cloud the star 
Which now I gaze on, as on her, 
Who look'd and looks far lovelier ; 
Dimly I view its trembling spark ; 
To-morrow's night shall be more dark ; 
And I, before its rays appear, 
That lifeless thing the living fear. 
I wander, father ! for my soul 
Is fleeting towards the final goal. 
I saw her, friar ! and I rose 
Forgetful of our former woes : 
And rushing from my couch, I dart, 
And clasp her to my desperate heart ; 
I clasp — what is it that I clasp ? 
No breathing form within my grasp, 
No heart that beats reply to mine, 
Yet, Leila ! yet the form is thine ! 
And art thou, dearest, changed so mucfo, 
As meet my eye, yet mock my touch ? 
Ah ! were thy beauties e'er so cold, 
I care not ; so my arms enfold 
The all they ever wish to hold. 
Alas ! around a shadow press' d, 
They shrink upon my lonely breast ; 
Yet still 'tis there ! In silence stands, 
And beckons with beseeching hands ! 
With braided hair, and bright black eye- 
I knew 'twas false — she could not die f 
Hut he is dead ! within the dell 
I saw him buried where he fell ; 
He comes not, for he cannot break 
Prom earth ; why then art thou awake * 

• " Symar," a shroud.— B 



4 



* • 

— ►<; 



<&• 



THE GIAOUR. 181 

They told me wild waves l'oll'd above 
The face I viow, the form I love : 
They told me — 'twas a hideous talo I 
I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail : 
If true, and from thine ocean-cave 
Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave ; 
Oh ! pass thy dewy fingers o'er 
This brow, that then will burn no more ; 
Or place them on my hopeless heart : 
But, shape or shade ! whate'er thou art, 
In mercy ne'er again depart ! 
Or farther with thee bear my soul 
Than winds can waft or waters roll ! 
* * * * • 

" Such is my name, and such my tale. 

Confessor ! to thy secret ear 
I breathe the sorrows I bewail, 

And thank thee for the generous tear 
This glazing eye could never shed. 
Then lay me with the humblest dead, 
And, save the cross above my head, 
Be neither name nor emblem spread, 
By prying stranger to be read, 
Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread." 

He pass'd — noi of bis name and race 
Hath left a token or a trace. 
Save what the father must not say 
Who shrived him on nis avmsr day : 
This broken tale was an ne Knew 
Of her he loved, or him he slew.* 

•The circumstance to which the above story relates, was not very uncommon in Turkey. 
A few years agu, the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to his father of his son's sup- 
posed infidelity ; he asked with whom, ana she had the barbarity to give in a list of the 
twelve handsomest women in Yanina. They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and 
drowned in the lake the same night 1 One of the guards who was present informed me, 
that not one of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror, at so sudden a 
" wrench from all we know, from all we love." The fate of Phrosine, the fairest of this 
sacrifice, is the subject of many a Romaic and Arnaut ditty. The story in the text ia 
one told of a young Venetian many years ago, and now nearly forgotten. I heard it by 
accident recited by one of the coffee-house story-tellers who abound in the Levant, and 
sing or recite their narratives. The additions and interpolations by the translator will 
be easily distinguished from the rest, by the want of Eastern imagery ; and I regret that 
my memory has retained so few fragments of the original. For the contents of some of 
the notes, I am indebted partly to D'Herbelot, and partly to that most Eastern, and, as 
Mr. Webber justly entitles it, "sublime tale," the "Caliph Vathek." I do not know 
from what source the author of that singular volume may have drawn his materials ; 
sonae of his incidents are to be found in the " Bibliotheque Orientale ;" but for correct- 
ness of costume, beauty of description, and power of imagination, it far surpasses all 
European imitations ; and bears such marks of originality, that those who have visited 
the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As an 
Eastern tale, even Basselas must bow before it ; his " Happy Valley " will not bwur • 
comparison with the " Hall of Eblis." — 3, 



K^ ^ 



182 BYRON'S POEMS. 



IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND 

When, from the heart where Sorrow sits, 

Her dusky shadow mounts too high, 
And o'er the changing aspect flits, 

And clouds the brow, or fills the eye : 
Heed not that gloom, which soon shall eink : 

M v thoughts their dungeon know too well- — 
Back to my breast the wanderers shrir± 

And droop within their silent celL 

September, UD2 



% l * mf .***-A*+m 



4 



& 



THE BMDii OF ABYDOS: 

A TURKISH TALE. 



Had we never loved so klr.dly, 

11 id we never loved so blindly, 

Never ui^t or never parted, 

We had ne'er been broken-hearted."— Bueut*. 



TO 

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HOLLAND, 

THIS TALE IS INSCRIBED, 
WITH EVERY SBNTIMBNT OB REGARD AND BBSPBCT, 
BY HIS GRATEFULLY OBLIGED AND 

SINCEBB FBIRND, 

BY ROW 



CANTO THE FIRST. 



l. 

Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle 
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, 

Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, 
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime ? 

Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, 

Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ; 

Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume 

Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gill in her bloom !* 

Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, 

And the voice of the nightingale never is mute, 

Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky 

In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, 

And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye ; 

Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, 

And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ? 

'Tis the clime of the East ; 'tis the land of the Sun — 

r^n he smile on such deeds as his children ha^e donefi* 

Oh ! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell 

Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they telL. 

• " Gul," the rose. — B. 

f " fiouls made of fire, and children of the Sun, 

With whom Revenge is Virtue."— Young's jReveng*. — A 



ir 



♦4 



< 



184 BYRON'S POEMS. 

If, 

Begirt with many a gallant slave, 
Apparell'd as becomes the brave, 
Awaiting each his lord's behest 
To guide his steps, or guard his rest, 
Old Giaffir sat in his Divan : 

Deep thought was in his aged eye ; 
And though the face of Mussulman 

Not oft betrays to standers by 
The mind within, well skill'd to hide 
All but unconquerable pride, 
His pensive cheek and pondering brow 
Did more than he was wont avow. 

nL 

v Let the chamber be clear'd." — The train disappeared— 

" Now call me the chief of the Haram guard. 
With Giaffir is none but his only son, 

j\ud the Nubian awaiting the sire's award. 

" Haroun — when all the crowd that wait 

A>-e pass'd beyond the outer gate, 

(Woe to the head whose eye beheld 

My child Zuleika's face unveil'd !) 

Hence, lead my daughter from her *>)wer ; 

Her fate is fix'd this very hour : 

Yet not to her repeat my thought ; 

By me alone be duty taught ! " 

" Pacha ! to hear is to obey." 

No more must slave to despot say — 

Then to the tower had ta'en his way ; 

But here young Selim silence brake, 
First lowly rendering reverence meet ; 

And downcast look'd, and gently spake, 
Still standing at the Pacha's feet : 

For son of Moslem must expire, 

Ere dare to sit before his sire ! 

" Father ! for fear that thou shouldst chid© 
My sister, or her sable guide, 
Know — for the fault, if fault there be, 
Was mine ; — then fall thy frowns on me— 
So lovelily the morning shone, 

That — let the old and weary sleep— 
I could not ; and to view alone 

The fairest scenes of land and deep, 
With none to listen and reply 
To thoughts with which my heart be?.t high, 
Were irksome ; for whate'er nay mood, 
In sooth I love not solitude ; 
I on Zuleika's slumber broke, 

And, as thou knowest that for me 

Soon turns the Haram's grating key, 
Before the guardian slaves awoke 



-£> 



X 



©* 



THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS. 185 

We to the cypress groves had flown, 

And made earth, main, and heaven our owu ! 

There hnger'd we, beguiled too long 

With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song,* 

Till I, who heard the deep tambour f 

Beat thy Divan's approaching hour, 

To thee, and to my duty true, 

Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flow : 

But there Zuleika wanders yet — 

Nay, father, rage not — nor forget 

That none can pierce that secret bowar 

But those who watch the women's tower." 

IV. 

"Son of a slave" — the Pacha said — 

" From unbelieving mother bred, 

Vain were a father's hope to see 

Aught that beseems a man in thee. 

Thou, when thine arm should bend the bou> 

And hurl the dart, and curb the steed, 

Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed, 
Must pore where babbling waters flow, 
And watch unfolding roses blow. 
Would that yon orb, whose matin glow 
Thy listless eyes so much admire, 
Would lend thee something of his fire ! 
Thou, who wouldst see this battlement 
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent ; 
Nay, tamely view old Stambol's wall 
Before the dogs of Moscow fall, 
Nor strike one stroke for life and death 
Against the curs of Nazareth ! 
Go ! let thy less than woman's hand 
Assume the distaff — not the brand. 
But, Haroun ! — to my daughter speed : 
And hark — of thine own head take heed — 
If thus Zuleika oft takes wing — 
Thou seest yon bow — it hath a string !" 

v. 

No sound from Selim's lip was heard, 

At least that met old Giaffir's ear, 
But every frown and every word 
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword. 

" Son of a slave ! — reproach' d with fear ! 

Those gibes had cost another dear. 
Son of a slave ! — and who my sire ? " 

Thus held his thoughts their dark career ; 
And glances eVn of more than ire 

Flash forth, then faintly disappear. 

* EI qj noun and Leila, the Borneo and Juliet of the East. Sadl, the mural cwl et 
Persia.— B. 
i Turkish drum, which sounds •* sunrise, noon *"<! twilight. — 3. 



■**- 



•& 



I BYRON'S POEMS. 

Old Giaffir gazed upon his son 

And started ; for within his eye 
He read how much his wrath had done \ 
He saw rebellion there begun : 

Come hither, boy — what, no reply ? 
1 mark thee — and I know thee too ; 
But there be deeds thou dar'st not do : 
But if thy beard had manlier length, 
And if thy hand had skill and strength, 
I'd joy to see thee break a lance, 
Albeit against my own, perchance." 

As sneeringly these accents fell. 
On Selim's eye he fiercely gf*zed : 

That eye return'd him glance for glance, 
-a.nd proudly to his sire's was raised, 

Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance- 
And why — he felt, but durst not tell. 
" Much I misdoubt this wayward boy 
Will one day work me more annoy : 
I never loved him from his birth, 
And — but his arm is little worth, 
And scarcely in the chase could cope 
With timid fawn or antelope, 
Far less would venture into strife 
Where man contends for fame and life — 
I would not trust that look or tone : 
No — nor the blood so near my own. 
That blood — he hath not heard — no more — 
I'll watch him closer than before. 
He is an Arab to my sight,* 
Or Christian crouching in the fight — 
But hark ! — I hear Zuleika's voice ; 

Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear : 
dhe is the offspring of my choice ; 

Oh ! more than ev'n her mother dear , 
With all to hope, and nought to fear — 
My Peri !— ever welcome here ! 
Sweet, as the desert fountain's wave, 
To lips just cool'd in time to save — 

Such to my longing sight art thou ; 
Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine 
More thanks for life, than I for thine, 

Who bless' d thy birth and bless thee now." 

VI. 

Fair, as the first that fell of womankind, 

When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, 

Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind — 
But once beguiled — and ever more beguiling ; 

Dazzling, as that, oh ! too transcendent vision 
To Sorrow's phantom -peopled slumber given, 



• The Turks »bhor the Arabs (who return the compliment a hundred -foldj evee QCU» 
tcniu they hate the Christians. — B. 



4* 



— *0* 



THE BR ID E OF A B \ 'D OS. 187 

When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian, 

And paints the lost on Earth revived in Heaven ; 
Soft, as the memory of buriGd love ; 
Pure, as the prayer which Childhood wafts above ; v 
Was she — the daughter of that rude old Chief, 
Who met the maid with tears — but not ol grief. 

Who hath not proved how feebly words essay 
To fix one S;>ark of Beauty's heavenly ray 1 
Who doth tot feed, until his tailing sight 
Faints into dimness with its own delight, 
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess 
The might — the majesty of Loveliness ? 
Such was Zuleika — such around her shone 
The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone ; 
The light of love, the purity of grace, 
The mind, the Music breathing from her face, 
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole- 
Ac d, oh ! that eye was in itself a Soul ! 

Her graceful arms in meekness bending 

Across her gently -budding breast ; 
At one kind word those arms extending 

To clasp the neck of him who bless' d 

His child caressing and caress'd, 

Zuleika came — and Giaffir felt 

His purpose half within him melt : 

Not that against her fancied weal 

His heart though stern could ever feel , 

Affection chain'd her to that heart ; 

Ambition tore the links apart. 

vn. 

"Zuleika ! child of gentleness ! 

How dear this very day must tell, 
When I forget my own distress, 

In losing what I love so well, 

To bid thee with another dwell : 

Another ! and a braver man 

Was never seen in battle's van. 
We Moslem reck not much of blood ; 

* This 1b a mistake of poets and *omi theologians ; a child's player 1b meaningleetr— tn 
worthiest prayer is from man in the prime of his vigour and intellect— no child's praya 
can be compared to that of a Fenelon 

t This expression has met with objections. I will not refer to " him who hath not 
music in his soul," but merely request the reader to recollect, for ten seconds, the features 
of the woman whom he believes to be the most beautiful ; and if h* then does not com- 
prehend fully what is feebly expressed in the above line, I shall be sorry for us both. 
For an eloquent passage in the latest work of the first female writer of this, perhaps, ct 
any age, on the analogy (and the immediate comparison excited by that analogy) between 
" painting and music," see voL iii. cap. 10, " De l'Allemagne." And is not this con- 
nection still stronger with the original than the copy, — with the colouring of Nature 
than of Art ? After all, this is rather to be felt than described ; still, I think there are 
some who will understand it, at least they would have done had they beheld the counte- 
nance whose speaking harmony suggested the idea ; for this passage is not drawn from 
imagination but memory, that mirror which Affliction dashes to the earth, and, looking 
down ui>v>u the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied 1 — U. 









188 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But yet the line of Carasman* 
Unchanged, unchangeable hath stood 

First of the bold Tiraariot bands 
That won and well can keep their lan<le. 
Enough that he who comes to woo 
Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou : 
His years need scarce a thought employ : 
I would not have thee wed a boy, 
And thou shalt have a noble dower : 
And his and my united power 
Will laugh to scorn the death-firman, 
Which others tremble but to scan, 
And teach the messenger what fate 
The bearer of such boon may wait.f 
And now thou knowest thy father's will,— 

All that thy sex hath need to know : 
'Twas mine to teach obedience still — 

The way to love, thy lord may show." 

vni. 

In silence bow'd the rirgin's head ; 

And if her eye was fill'd with tears 
That stifled feeling dare not shed, 
And changed her cheek from pale to red, 

And red to pale, as through her ears 
Those winged words like arrows sped, 

What could such be but maiden fears ? 
So bright the tear in Beauty's eye, 
Love half regrets to kiss it dry ; 
So sweet the blush of Bashfuluess, 
Even Pity scarce can wish it loss ! 

Whate'er it was the sire forgot ; 

Or if remember'd, mark'd it not ; 

Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his steed, £ 

Resign'd his gem-adorn' d chibouque, § 
And mounting featly for the mead, 

With Maugrabee and Mamaluke, || 

His way amid his Delis took,f[ 

Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principal landholder in Turkey ; be 
-\>verus Magnesia. Those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land an condition of »er- 
•nce, are called Timariots ; they serve as Spahis, according to the extent of territory, and 
bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry. — B. 

t When a Pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single messenger, who is always the 
flr»t bearer of the order for his death, is strangled instead, and sometimes five or six, 
one after the other, on the same errand, by command of the refractory patient ; if, on 
the contrary, he is weak or loyal, he bows, kisses the Sultan's respectable signature, and 
is bowstrung with great complacency. In 1810, several of " these presents " were exhi- 
bited in the niche of the Seraglio gate ; among others, the head of the Pacha of Bagdat, a 
brave young man, cut off by treachery, after a desperate resistance. — B. 

\ Clapping of the hands calls the servant*. The Turks hate a superfluous expenditure 
of voice, and they have no bells. — B. 

§ Chibouque, the Turkish pipe, of which the amber mouth-piece, and sometimes the 
ball which contains the leaf, is adorned with precious stones, if in possession of the 
wealthier orders. — B. 

I| Maugrabee, M x>rish mercenaries. — B. 

•f Delis, bravos who form the forlorn hope of ihe cavalry and al-nays begin the 
oction.--£. 



]' 

4* 



<> 



«> 



THE BRIDE OFABYDOS. i S9 

To witness many an active deed 
With sabre keen, or blunt jerreed. 
The Kislar only and his Moors 
Watch well the Haram's massy doors. 

IX. 

His head was lent upon his hand, 

His eye look'd o'er the dark blue water 

That swiftly glides and gently swells 

Between the winding Dardanelles ; 

But yet he saw nor sea nor strand, 

Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band 
Mix in the game of mimic slaughter, 

Careering cleave the folded felt* 

With sabre-stroke right sharply dealt ; 

Nor mark'd the javelin-darting crowd, 

Nor heard their Ollahs + wild and loud 
He thought but of old Giaflir's daughter j 

X. 

No word from Selim's bosom broke ; 

One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke : 

Still gazed he through the lattice grate, 

Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate. 

To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd, 

But little from his aspect learn'd : 

Equal her grief, yet not the same ; 

Her heart confess' d a gentler flame : 

But yet that heart, alarm'd or weak, 

^he knew not why, forbade to speak, 

/et speak she must — but when essay ? 

' ' How strange he thus should turn away ! 

Not thus we e'er before have met ; 

Not thus shall be our parting yet." 

Thrice paced she slowly through the room, 
And watch'd his eye — it still was fix'd : 
She snatch' d the urn wherein was mix'd 

The Persian Atar -gill's perfume, J 

And sprinkled all its odours o'er 

The pictured roof and marble floor ;§ 

The drops, that through his glittering veet 

The playful girl's appeal address'd, 

Unheeded o'er his bosom flew, 

As if that breast were marble too. 

• A twisted fold of felt is used for scimit-ar practice by the Turks, and few but Mtassul- 
inan arms can cut through it at a single stroke ; sometimes a tough Durban is used for the 
Baiae purpose. The jerreed is a game of blunt javelins, animated and graceful. — B. 

f " Ollahs," Alia il Allah, the " Leilies," aa the Spanish poets call them ; the sound is 
O'lah ; a cry of which the Turks, for a silent people, are somewhat profuse, particularly 
during the jerreed, or in the chase ; but mostly in battle. Their animation in the 
field, and gravity in the chamber, with their pipes and comboloioa, form an amusing 
contrast. — B. 

1 " Atar-gul," ottar of roses. The Persian is the finest. — B. 

§ The ceiling and wainscots, or rather walls, of the Mussulman apartments, are ^Tie- 
tally painted, in great houses, with one eternal and highly-coloured view of Constan- 
tinople, wherein the principal feature is a noble contempt of perspective ; below, arms, 
scimitars, «c, are in general fancifully and not inelegantly disposed. — 3. 






e* 



£ 



-o* 



I 



I go BYPO.\'S POEMS. 

" What, sullen yet ? it must not be- 
On ! gentle Selim, this from thee ! " 
She saw in curious order set 

The fairest flowers of eastern land — 
" He loved them once ; may touch them yet 

If offer'd by Zuleika's hand." 
The childish thought was hardly breathed 
Before the Rose was pluck'd and wreathed ; 
The next fond moment saw her seat 
Her fairy form at Selim's feet ; 
" This rose to calm my brother's cares 
A message from the Bulbul bears ;* 
It says to-night he will prolong 
For Selim's ear his sweetest song ; 
And though his note is somewhat sad, 
He'll try fcr once a strain more glad, 
With some faint hope his alter'd lay 
May sing these gloomy thoughts awav. 

XI. 

" What ! not receive my foolish flower? 

Nay then I am indeed unblest : 
On me can thus thy forehead lower ? 

And know'st thou not who loves thee best ? 
Oh, Selim dear ! oh, more than dearest ! 
Say, is it me thou hat'st or fearest ? 
Come, lay thy head upon my breast, 
And I will kiss thee into rest, 
Since words of mine, and songs must fail, 
Ev'n from my fabled nightingale. 
I knew our sire at times was stern, 
But this from thee had yet to learn : 
Too well I know he loves thee not ; 
But is Zuleika's love forgot ? 
Ah ! deem I right ? the Pacha's plan— - 
This kinsman Bey of Carasman 
Perhaps may prove some foe of thine : 
If so, I swear by Mecca's shrine, 
If shrines that ne'er approach allow 
To woman's step, admit her vow, 
Without thy free consent, command, 
The Sultan should not have my hand ! 
Think'st thou that I could bear to part 
With thee, and learn to halve my heart ? 
Ah ! were I sever'd from thy side, 
Where were thy friend — and who my guide f 
Years have not seen, Time shall not see 
The hour that tears my soul from thee : 

* It bu been much doubted whether the notes of this " Lover of the rose " • are baa <w 
taervy; *nd Mi. Fox's remarks on the subject have provoked some learned controversy 06 
to the opinions of the ancients on the subject. I dare not venture a conjecture om the 
point, though a little Inclined to the " erraxe mallem," ic, tf Mr. Fox icat mistaken. — & 

* If joy can be said to be felt on hearing the nightingale, it must be what 0asiai> sails 
** the Joy of grief" that is, s pleasing melanchoJ«- 

A. 4- 






THE BRIDE OF AD YD OS. 191 

Even Azrael,* from his deadly quiver 
When tiies that shaft, and fly it mustj 

That parts all else, shall doom for ever 
Our hearts to undivided dust ! " 

XII. 

He lived — he breathed — he moved — he felt ; 
He raised the maid from where she knelt ; 
His trance was gone — his keen eye shone 
With thoughts that long in darkness dwelt ; 
With thoughts that burn — in rays that melt. 

As the stream late conceal'd 

By the fringe of its willows, 
When it rushes reveal'd 

In the light of its billows ; 
As the bolt bursts on high 

From the black cloud that bound it, 
Flash'd the soul of that eye 

Through the long lashes round it. 
A war-horse at the trumpet's sound, 
A lion roused by heedless hound, 
A tyrant waked to sudden strife 
By graze of ill-directed knife, 
Starts not to more convulsive life 
Than he, who heard that vow, display' d, 
And all, before repress' d, betray'd : 

" Now thou art mine, for ever mine, 

With life to keep, and scarce with life resiga : 

Now thou art mine, that sacred oath, 

Though sworn by one, hath bound us both. 

Yes, fondly, wisely hast thou done ; 

That vow hath saved more heads than one : 

But blench not thou — thy simplest tress 

Claims more from me than tenderness ; 

I would not wrong the slenderest hair -j* 

That clusters round thy forehead fair, 

For all the treasures buried far 

Within the caves of Istakar.J 

This morning clouds upon me lower 'd, 

Reproaches on my head were shower 'u., 

And Giaffir almost caU'd me coward ! 

Now I have motive to be brave ; 

The son of his neglected slave, — 

Nay, start not, 'twas the term he gave, 

May show, though little apt to vaunt, 

A heart his words nor deeds can daunt. 

** Aisi&el." vhe angel of death. — B. 

f "And now, my Kate, 

To thee, whose smallest ringlet's fate 

Conveys more Interest to my soul 

Than all the Powers, from pole to pole."— T. 3fc*re fe hU Sister 
The tvbMurto of the pre-Adamite eultans. See D'Herbelot, article ls«xkar.~- ft. 



*$• 



«> 



<> 



1 92 BYRON'S POEMS. 

His son, indeed ! — yet, thanks to titf*?, 

Perchance I am, at least shall be ; 

But let our plighted secret vow 

Be only known to us as now. 

I know the wretch who dares demand 

From Giaffir thy reluctant hand ; 

More ill-got wealth, a meaner soul 

Holds not a Musselim's * control : 

Was he not bred in Egripo ?+ 

A viler race let Israel show ! 

But let that pass — to none be told 

Our oath ; the rest let time unfold. 

To me and mine leave Osman Bey ; 

I've partisans for peril's day : 

Think not I am what I appear ; 

I've arms, and friends, and vengeance ne&i." 

xin. 

"Think not thou art what thou appearest ! 

My Selim, thou art sadly changed : 
This morn I saw thee gentlest, dearest ; 

But now thou'rt from thyself estranged. 
My love thou surely knew'st before ; 
It ne'er was less, nor can be more. 
To see thee, hear thee, near thee stay, 

And hate the night, I know not why, 
8ave that we meet not but by day ; 

With thee to live, with thee to die, 

I dare not to my hope deny : 
Thy cheek, thine eyes, thy lips to kiss, 
Like this — and this — no more than thi& ; 
For, Allah ! sure thy lips are flame : 

What fever in thy veins is flushing ? 
My own have nearly caught the same, 

At least I feel my cheek too blushing. 
To soothe thy sickness, watch thy health, 
Partake, but never waste thy wealth, 
Or stand with smiles unmurmuring by, 
And lighten hah thy poverty ; 
Do all but close thy dying eye, 
For that I could not live to try ; 
To these alone my thoughts aspire : 
More can I do ? or thou require ? 
But, Selim, thou must answer why 
We need so much of mystery ? 
The cause I cannot dream nor tell, 
But be it, since thou say'st 'tis well ; 
Yet what thou mean'st by ' arms ' and ' friendc/ 
Beyond my weaker sense extends. 

• Husselim, a governor, the next in rank after a Pacha ; a Waywode is the third ; aao 
then come the Agas. — B. 

f Rgiipo— the Negropont. According to the proverb, the Turk* of Ejrlp», th« Sem oi 
Salouioa, and the Gree*» (rf Athens, avs the worst of their respective rauct— u. 






THE BRIDE OF AD Y DOS. 193 

t meant that Giaffir should have heard. 

The very vow I plighted thee ; 
His wrath would not revoke my word : 

But surely he would leave me free. 

Can this fond wish seem strange in me, 
To be what I havo ever been ? 
What other hath Zuleika seen 
From simple childhood's earliest hour? 

What other can she seek to see 
Than thee, companion of her bower, 

The partner of her infancy ? 
These cherish'd thoughts with life begun, 

Say, why must I no more avow ? 
What change is wrought to make me shuu 

The truth ; my pride, and thine, till now? 
To meet the gaze of stranger's eyes 
Our law, our creed, our God denies ; 
Nor shall one wandering thought of mine 
At such, our Prophet's will, repine ! 
No ! happier made by that decree ! 
He left me all in leaving thee. 
Deep were my anguish, thus compell'd 
To wed with one I ne'er beheld : 
This wherefore should I not revtfai ? 
Why wilt thou urge me to conceal ? 
[ know the Pacha s haughty mood 
"o thee hath never boded good ; 
And he so often storms at nought, 
Allah ! forbid that e'er he ought ! 
And why I know not, but within 
My heart concealment weighs like sin. 
If then such secrecy be crime, 

And such it feels while lurking here ; 
Oh, Selim ! tell me yet in time, 

Nor leave me thus to thoughts of fear. 
Ah ! yonder see the Tchocadar,* 
My father leaves the mimic war : 
I tremble now to meet his eye — 
Say, Selim, canst thou tell me why ? " 

XIV. 

u Zuleika — to thy tower's retreat 
Betake thee — Giaffir I can greet ; 
And now with him I fain must prate 
Of firmans, imposts, levies, state. 
There 's fearful news from Danube's banks, 
Our Vizier nobly thins his ranks, 
For which the Giaour may give him thanks 1 
Our Sultan hath a shorter way 
Such costly triumph to repay. 
But, mark me, when the twilight drum 
Hath warn'd the troops to food and sleep, 

* ° IVJjocadar," one of the attendants who precedes a man of authority. — £. 

O 



*> 



194 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Unto thy cell will Selim come : 
Then softly from the Haram creep, 
Where we may wander by the deep i 
Our garden-battlements are steep ; 
Nor these will rash intruder climb 
To list our words, or stint our time ; 
And if he doth, I want not steel 
Which some have felt, and more may fccL 
Then shalt thou learn of Selim more 
Than thou hast heard or thought before: 
Trust me, Zuleika — fear not me ! 
Thou knov/st I hold a Haram key." 

"Fear thee, my Selim ! ne'er till now 

Did word like this " 

u Delay not thcv, 
I keep the key — and Haroun's guard 
Have some, and hope of more reward. 
To-night, Zuleika, thou shalt hear 
My tale, my purpose, and my (ear : 
I am not, love, what I appear." 



*$■ 



CANTO THE SECOND. 

1. 

The winds are high on Helle's wave, 
As on that night of stormy water, 
When Love, who sent, forgot to save 
The young, the beautiful, the brave, 

Th6 lonely hope of Sestos' daughter. 
Oh ! when alone along the sky 
Her turret-torch was blazing high, 
Though rising gale, and breaking foam, 
And shrieking sea-birds wara'd him home 
And clouds aloft and tides below, 
With signs and sounds, forbade to go, 
He could not see, he would not hear, 
Or sound or sign foreboding fear ; 
His eye but saw the light of love, 
The only star it hail'd above ; 
His ear but rang with Hero's song, 
u Ye waves, divide not lovers long ! " 
That tale is old, but love anew 
May nerve young hearts to prove as true. 

n. 

The winds are high, and Helle's tide 
Rolls darkly heaving to the main ; 

And Night's descending shadows hide 
That field with blood bedew'd in vain, 

The desert of old Priam's pride ; 
The tombs, sole relics of his reign, 



"*T 






THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS. 195 

All — Gave immortal dreams that could beguile 
The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle ! 

ill. 

Oh ! yet — for there my steps have been ; 

These feet have press'd the sacred shore, 
These limbs that buoyant wave hath borue— 
Minstrel ! with thee to muse, to mourn, 

To trace again those fields of yore, 
Behoving every hillc*»k green 

Contains no fableu nero's ashes, 
And that around the undoubted scene 

Thine own "broad Hellespont" still dashes/ 
Be long my lot, and cold were he 
Who there could gaze denying thee ! 

TV. 

The night hath closed on Helle's stream, 

Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill 
That moon, which shone on his high theme J 
No warrior chides her peaceful beam, 

But conscious shepherds bless it still. 
Their flocks are grazingon the mound 

Of him who felt the Cardan's arrow : 
That mighty heap of gather'd ground 
Which Ammon's son ran proudly round, 1 
By nations raised, by monarchs crown' d ; 

Is now a lone and nameless barrow ! 

Within — thy dwelling-place how narrow ! 
Without — can only strangers breathe 
The name of him that was beneath ; 
Dust long outlasts the storied stone ; 
But Thou — thy very dust is gone l 

V. 

Late, late to-night will Dian cheer 

The swain, and chase the boatman's fear ; 

Till then — no beacon on the cliff 

May shape the course of struggling skiff ; 

The scatter' d lights that skirt the bay, 

All, one by one, have died away ; 

The only lamp of this lone hour 

T s glimmering in Zuleika's tower 

• The wiangiing about this epithet, " the broad Hellespont," or the '* boundless Hel- 
lespont," whether it means one or the other, or what it means at all, has been beyond 
all possibility of detail. I have even heard it disputed on the spot ; and not foreseeing a 
»peedy conclusion to the controversy, amused myself with swimming across it in lie 
mean time, and probably may again, before the point is settled. Indeed, the question as 
to the truth of " the tale of Troy divine " still continues, much of it resting upon the 
talismanic word aneipos : probably Homer had the same notion of distance that a 
coquette has oftime.and when he talks of boundless, means half a mile ; as the latter, by a 
like figure, when she says eternal attachment, simply specifies three weeks. — B. 

t Before his Persian invasion, and crowned the altar with laurel, &c. He was after- 
wards imitated by Caracalla in his race. It is believed that the last also poisoned a friend, 
oamed Festus, for the sake of new Patrocian games. I have *een the sheep feeding OB 
the tombs ol .gsietes and Antilochna : the first is in the centre of the plain.— A 

o£ 



■4f 



e 



196 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Yes ! there is light in that lone chamber., 

And o'er her silken ottoman 
Are thrown the fragrant beads of amber. 

O'er which her fairy fingers ran ;* 
Near these, with emerald rays beset* 
(How could she thus that gem forget ?) 
Her mother's sainted amulet, f 
Whereon engraved the Koorsee text 
Could smooth this life, and win the next; 
And by her ComboloioJ lies 
A Koran of illumined dyes ; 
And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme 
By Persian scribes redeem'd from time ; 
And o'er those scrolls, not oft so mute, 
Reclines her now neglected lute ; 
And round her lamp of fretted gold 
Bloom flow'rs in urns of China's mould ; 
Tne richest work of Iran's loom, 
And Sheeraz' tribute of perfume ; 
All that can eye or sense delight 

Are gather'd in that gorgeous room : 

But yet it hath an air of gloom. 
She, of this Peri cell the sprite, 
What doth she hence, and on so rude a night? 

VL 

Wrapt in the darkest sable vest, 

Which none save noblest Moslem wear, 
To guard from winds of heaven the breast 

As heaven itself to Selim dear, 
With cautious steps the thicket threading, 

And starting oft, as through the glade 

The gust its hollow moanings made ; 
Till on the smoother pathway treadiDg, 
More free her timid bosom beat, 

The maid pursued her silent guide ; 
And though her terror urged retreat, 

How could she quit her Selim's side ? 

How teach her tender lips to chide t 

vn. 

They reach'd at length a grotto, hewn 

By nature, but enlarged by art, 
Where oft her lute she wont to tune, 

And oft her Korau conn'd apart ; 

" ■ jen rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which If slight but not dLa 
, -jsble.-S. 

t The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or inclosed in gold boxes, containing Kraps 
from the Koran, worn round the neck, wrist, or arm, is still universal in the East. The 
Koorsee (throne) verse in the second chapter of the Koran describes the attributes of the 
Most High, and is engraved in this manner, and worn by the pious, as the most esteemed 
fcnd sublime of all sentences. — B. 

% " Comboloio "— a Turkish rosary. The MSS., particularly those of the Persians, are 
richly adorned and illuminated. The Greek females are kept in utter ignorance ; but 
many of the Turkish girls are highly accomplished, though not actually qualified for a 
Christian coterie. Perhaps some of our own " bluet" mij.:.' act be the worse lor bleach- 



^< 



THE BRIDE OFABYDOS. 197 

And oft in youthful reverie 
She dream'd what Paradise might be . 
Where woman's parted soul shall go 
Her Prophet had disdain'd to show ; 
But Selim's mansion was secure, 
Nor deem'd she, could he long- endure 
His bower in other worlds of bliss, 
Without her, most beloved in this ! 
Oh ! who so dear with him could dwell! 
What Houri soothe him half so well '/ 

vm. 

Since last she visited the spot 

Some change seem'd wrought within the grcfc : 

It might be only that the night 

Disguised things seen by better light : 

That brazen lamp but dimly threw 

A ray of no celestial hue ; 

But in a nook within the cell 

Her eye on stranger objects fell. 

There arms were piled, not such as wield 

The turban' d Delis in the field ; 

But brands of foreign blade and hilt, 

And one was red — perchance with guilt ! 

Ah ! how without can blood be spilt ? 

A cup too on the board was set 

That did net seem to hold sherbet. 

What may this mean ? she turn'd to see 

Her Selim— " Oh ! can this be he V 

IX. 

His robe of pride was thrown aside, 
His brow no high-crown'd turban bore, 

But in its stead a shawl of red, 
Wreathed lightly round, his temples wore ! 

That dagger, on whose hilt the gem 

Were worthy of a diadem, 

No longer glitter'd at his waist, 

Where pistols unadorn'd were braced ; 

And from his belt a sabre swung, 

And from his shoulder loosely hung 

The cloak of white, the thin capote 

That decks the wandering Candiote : 

Beneath — his golden plated vest 

Clung like a cuirass to his breast ; 

The greaves below his knee that wound 

With silvery scales were sheathed and bound. 

But were it not that high command 

Spake in his eye, and tone, and hand, 

All that a careless eye could see 

In him was some young Galiongee.* 

• "Galiongee" — or Galiongl, a sailor, that is, a Turkish sailor; the Greeks navigate, 
the Turks work the gnus. Their dress is picturesque; and I hare seen the Capitan PacUa 



*&« — — 4 

198 BYRON'S POEMS. 



"I sdd 1 was not what I seem'd ; 

And now thou seest my words were true i 
I have a tale thou hast not dream'd. 

If sooth — its truth must others rue. 
My story now 'twere vain to hide, 
I must not see thee Osman's bride : 
But had not thine own lips declared 
How much of that young heart I shared, 
I could not, must not, yet have shown 
The darker secret of my own. 
In this I speak not now of love ; 
That, let time, truth, and peril prove : 
But first — Oh ! never wed another — 
Zuleika ? I am not thy brother ! " 

XI. 

" Oh ! not my brother ! — yet unsay — 

God ! am I left alone on earth 
To mourn — I dare not curse — the day 

That saw my solitary birth ? 
Oh ! thou wilt love me now no more ! 

My sinking heart foreboded ill ; 
But know me all I was before, 

Thy sister — friend — Zuleika still. 
Thou ledd'st me here perchance to kill ; 

If thou hast cause for vengeance, see 
My breast is offer'd — take thy fill ! 

Far better with the dead to be 

Than live thus nothing now to thee ; 
Perhaps far worse, for now I know 
Why Giaffir always seem'd thy foe ; 
And I, alas ! am Giaffir's child, 
For whom thou wert contemn'd, reviled. 
If not thy sister — wouldst thou save 
My life, oh 1 bid me be thy slave ! " 

xn. 

" My slave, Zuleika ! — nay, I'm thine : 

But, gentle love, this transport calm, 
Thy lot shall yet be link'd with mine ; 
I swear it by our Prophet's shrine, 

And be that thought thy sorrow's balm, 
3o may the Koran verse display'd* 
Upon its steel direct my blade, 

raui* thsn once wearing it as a kind of incog. Their legs, however, are ^neraDy nak«*l 
The buskins described in the text as sheathed behind with silver, are those of an Amaal 
robber, who was my host (he had quitted the profession) at his Pyrgo, near Gastouni, in 
.ue Morea ; they were plated in scales one over the other, like the back of an anus- 
slillo.— B. 

* The characters on all Turkish scimitars contain sometimes the name of the place ol 

thoir manufacture, but more generally a text from the Koran, in letters of gold. 

amongst those in my possession is one with a blade of singular construction : it is very 

v road, and the edge notched into serpentine curves like the ripple of water, or the 

Aveiing of A&nie. I asked the Armenian who sold it what poseiUe use such ft ngiurt 



N/ 



<> 






THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS. 199 

In danger's hour to guard us both, 

As I preserve that awful oatli ! 

The name in which thy heart hath pridtid 

Must change ; but, my Zuloika, know, 
That tie is widen'd, not divided, 

Although thy sire 's my deadliest fofe 
My father was to G iaffir all 

That Selim late was deem'd to tht ; 
That brother wrought a brother's i; 

But spared, at least, my infancy ; 
And lull'd me with a vain deceit 
That yet a like return may meet. 
He rear'd me, not with tender help, 

But like the nephew of a Cain ;* 
He watch'd me like a lion's whelp, 

That gnaws and yet may break his obsdx 

My father's blood in every vein 
Is boiling ; but for thy dear sake 
No present vengeance will I take : 

Though here I must no more reinaui. 
But first, beloved Zuleika ! hear 
How Giaffir wrought this deed of fear, 

xin. 

" How first their strife to rancour grow, 

If love or envy made them foes, 
It matters little if I knew ; 
In fiery spirits, slights, though few 

And thoughtless, will disturb repose. 
In war Abdallah's arm was strong, 
Remember'd yet in Bosniac song, 
And Paswan's rebel hordes attest t 
How little love they bore such guest : 
His death is all I need relate, 
The stern effect of Giaffir's hate ; 
And how my birth disclosed to me, 
Whate'er beside it makes, hath made mo free. 

XIV. 

" When Paswan, after years of strife, 
At last for power, but first for life, 

coold add : he said, in Italian, that he did not know ; but the Mussulmans tiad an 1ri.es 
that those of this form gave a severer wound ; and liked it because it was " piu faroce." 
I did not much admire the reason, but bought it for its peculiarity.— B. 

Another peculiarity of some Turkish scimitars is that they are hollow at the back of the 
blade, and that a ball of quicksilver is placed in this hollow, which, running with the blow, 
gives an additional weight or force to it. 

* It is to be observed, that every allusion to any thing or personage in the Old Testa- 
LD.eut, such as the Ark, or Cain, is equaUy the privilege of Mussulman and Jew : indeed, 
the former profess to be much better acquainted with the lives, true and fabulous, of the 
patriarchs, than is warranted by our own sacred writ ; and not content with Adam, they 
have a biography of pre-Adarnites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and 
Moses a prophet inferior only to Christ and Mahomet. Zuleika is the Persian name lI 
Potiphar's wife ; and her amour with Joseph constitutes one of the finest poems in their 
language. It is, therefore, no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, 
Into the mouth of a Moslem. — B. 

t P»swan Oglou, the rebel of Widdin, who, tor the last yean of hia life, set the vhol« 
power of th» vnrtQ a t defiance. — 3 



200 B YR ON 'S POEMS. 

\a Widdin's walls too proudly sate, 
Our Pachas rallied round the state ; 
Nor last nor least in high command, 
Each brother led a separate band ; 

They gave their hoi-setails to the wind,* 
And mustering in Sophia's plain, 

Their tents were pitch'd, their posts assign'd 
To one, alas ! assign'd in vain ! 
What need of words ? the deadly bowl, 

By Giaffir's order drugg'd and given, 
With venom subtle as his soul, 
Dismiss'd Abdallah's hence to heaven. 
Reclined and feverish in the bath, 

He, when the hunter's sport was up, 
But little deem'd a brother's wrath 

To quench his thirst had such a cup : 
The bowl a bribed attendant bore ; 
He drank one draught, nor needed more ! f 
If ttiou my tale, Zuleika, doubt, 
Call Haroun — he can tell it out. 

XV. 

" The deed once done, and Paswan's feud 
In part suppress'd, though ne'er subdued, 

Abdallah's pachalic was gain'd : — 
Thou know'st not what in our Divan 
Can wealth procure for worse than man— 

Abdallah's honours were obtain' d 
By him a brother's murder stain' d ; 
'Tis true, the purchase nearly drain'd 
His ill got treasure, soon replaced. 
Wouldst question whence ? Survey the w^te, 
And ask the squalid peasant how 
His gains repay his broiling brow ! — 
Why me the stern usurper spared, 
Why thus with me his palace shared, 
I know not. Shame, regret, remorse, 
And little fear from infant's force ; 
Besides, adoption as a son 
By him whom Heaven accorded none, 
Or some unknown cabal, caprice, 
Preserved me thus ; but not in peace : 
He cannot curb his haughty mood, 
Nor I forgive a father's blood ! 

XVI. 

" Within thy father's house are foes ; 
Not all who break his bread are true : 

c '» Horse-tail," the standard of a Pacha.— B. 

+ Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro, or Scutari, I am not sure which . was actuilly t&ken 
off by the Albanian Ali, in the manner described in the text. Ali Pacha, while I was i» 
Che country, married the daughter of his victim, some years after the event had takei 
place at a bath in Sophia, or Adrianople. The poison was mixed in the cup of coft* 
which it presented before the sherbet by the bath -keeper, after dressing.— 3 



<} 



THE BRIDE OF A B YD OS. 201 

To theso should I my birth disclose, 

His days, his very hours, were few : 
They only want a heart to lead, 
A hand to point them to the deed. 
But Haroun only knows — or knew — 

This tale, whose close is almost nigh : 
He in Abdallah's palace grew, 

And held that post in his serai, 

Which holds he here — he saw him die ! 
Rut what could single slavery do ? 
Avenge his lord ? alas ! too late ; 
Or save his son from such a fate? 
Me chose the last, and when elate 

With foes subdued, or friends betray' d, 
Proud Giaffir in high triumph sate, 
He led me helpless to his gate, 

And not in vain it seems essay'd 

To save the life for which he pray'd. 
The knowledge of my birth secured 

From all and each, but most from me; 
Thus Giaffir's safety was insured. 

Removed he too from Roumelie 
To this our Asiatic side, 
Far from our seats by Danube's tide, 

With none but Haroun, who retains 
Such knowledge — and that Nubian feels 

A tyrant's secrets are but chains, 
From which the captive gladly steals, 
And this, and more, to me reveals : 
Such still to guilt just Alia sends — 
Slaves, tools, accomplices — no friends ! 

XVII. 

" All this, Zuleika, harshly sounds ! 

But harsher still my tale must be : 
Howe'er my tongue thy softness wounds, 

Yet I must prove all truth to thee. 

I saw thee start this garb to see, 
Yet is it one I oft have worn, 

And long must wear : this Galic«gee, 
To whom thy plighted vow is sworn, 

Is leader of those pirate hordes, 

Whose laws and lives are on their swords ; 
To hear whose desolating tale 
Would make thy waning cheek more pale : 
Those arms thou seest my band have brought; 
The hands that wield are not remote ; 
This cup too for the rugged knaves 

Is fill'd — once quaffd, they ne'er repine : 
Our Prophet might forgive the slaves ; 

They're only infidels in wine ! 

XVIII. 

" What could I be ? Proscribed at home 
And taunted to a wish to roam ; 



*£> ^ 

I* 

202 BYRON'S POEMS, 

And listless left — for Gia Sir's fear 

Denied the courser and the spear — 

Though oft— Oh, Mahomet ! how oft ! 

In full Divan the despot scoff' d, 

As if my weak unwilling hand 

Refused the bridle or the brand : 

He ever went to war alone, 

And pent me here untried — unknoArn ; 

To Haroun's care with women left, 

By hope unblest, of fame bereft. 

While thou — whose softness long endear'cl, 

Though it unmann'd me, still had cheer' d— 

To Brusa's walls for safety sent, 

Awaitedst there the field's event, 

Haroun, who saw my spirit pining 

Beneath inaction's sluggish yoke, 
Ilis captive, though with dread, resigning 

My thraldom for a season broke, 
On promise to return before 
The day when Giaffir's charge was o'er 

" 'Tis vain — my tongue can not impart 
, My almost drunkenness of heart, 
When first this liberated ey« 
Survey'd Earth, Ocean, Sun, and Sky, 
As if my spirit pierced them througn, 
And all their inmost wonders knew ! 
One word alone can paint to thee 
That more than feeling — I was Free ! 
Ev'n for thy presence ceased to pine ; 
The World — nay — Heaven itself was mine J 

XIX. 

" The shallop of a trusty Moor 
Convey'd me from this idle shore ; 
I long'd to see the isles that gem 
Old Ocean's purple diadem : 
I sought by turns, and saw them all ;• 

But when and where I join'd the crew, 
With whom I'm pledged to rise or fail, 

When all that we design to do 
Is done, 'twill then be time more meet 
To tell thee, when the tale 's complete. 

XX. 

"'Tis true they are a lawless brood, 

But rough in form, nor mild in mood ; 

And every creed, and every race, 

With them hath found — may find — a place : 

But open speech, and ready hand, 

Obedience to their chief's command ; 

9 The Turkish notions of almost all UlAnds are confined \» the Archipelago, *.!osa 
aiied&d to.— 3. 



«<> 



-6 



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THE BRIDE OE ABYDOS. 203 

A soul for every enterprise, 
Thut never sees with terror's eyes ; 
Friendship for each, and faith to all, 
And vengeance vow'd for those who fall, 
Have made them fitting instruments 
For more than ev'n my own intents. 
And some — and T have studied all, 

Distingulsh'd from the vulgar rank, 
But chiefly to my council call 

The wisdom of the cautious Frank — 
And some to higher thoughts aspire, 

The last of Lambro's patriots there* 

Anticipated freedom share ; 
And oft around the cavern fire 
On visionary schemes debate, 
To snatch the Rayahs + from their fato>. 
So let them ease their hearts with prate 
Of equal rights, which man ne'er knew ; 
I have a love for freedom too. 

Ay ! let me like the ocean-Patriarch roam ; !£ 

Or only know on land the Tartar's home !§ 

My tent on shore, my galley on the sea, 

Are more than cities and serais to me : 

Borne by my steed, or wafted by my sail, 

Across the desert, or before the gale. 

Bound where thou wilt, my barb ! or glide, my prow 1 

But be the star that guides the wanderer, Thou, 

Thou, my Zuleika, share and bless my bark ; 

The Dove of peace and promise to mine ark ! 

Or, since that hope denied in worlds of strife, 

Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life ! 

The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, 

And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray ! 

Blest — as the Muezzin's strain from Mecca's wall 

To pilgrims pure and prostrate at his call ; 

Soft — as the melody of youthful days, 

That steals the trembling tear of speechless praise ; 

Deal' — as his native song to Exile's ears, 

Shall sound each tone thy long-loved voice endears. 

For thee in those bright isles is built a bower 

Blooming as Aden in its earliest hour. || 

A thousand swords, with Selim's heart and hand, 

Wait — wave — defend — destroy — at thy command 



V 



* L^rabro Canzsni, a GreeSc, famous for his efforts in 1789-90 for the independence o{ 
biacouutry. Abandoned by the Russians, he became a pirate, and the Archipelago w,%* 
Lhe scene of his enterprises. He is said to be still alive at Petersburg. lie and Riga aw 
the two most celebrated of the Greek revolutionists. — B. 

| " Rayahs," — all who pay the capitation tax, called the "Haratch." — B. 

X The first of voyages is one of the few with which the Mussulmans profess mucb 
acquaintance. — B. 

§ The wandering life of the Arabs, Tartars, and Turkomans, will be found well 
detailed in any book of Eastern travels. That it possesses a charm peculiar to itself, 
cannot be denied. A young French renegado confessed to Chateaubriand, that he nevei 
lound himself alone, galloping in the desert, without a sensation approaching V rapture, 
which was indescribable. — B. 

\ " Jannat al -Aden," the perpetual abode, the Mussulman parsdiat. — B. 



-^ 



204 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Girt by my band, Zuleika at my side, 
The spoil of nations shall bedeck my bridG. 
The Haram's languid years of listless ease 
Are well resign'd for cares — for joys like these : 
Not blind to fate, I see, where'er I rove, 
Unnumber'd perils — but ene only love ! 
Yet well my toils shall that fond breast repay, 
Though fortune frown, or falser friends betray. 
How dear the dream in darkest hours of ill, 
Should all be changed, to find thee faithful stiii. i 
Be but thy soul, like Selim's, firmly shown ; 
To thes be Selim's tender as thine own ; 
To soothe each sorrow, share in each delight, 
Blend every thought, do all — but disunite ! 
Once free, 'tis mine our horde again to guide ; 
Friends to each other, foes to aught beside : 
Yet there we follow but the bent assign'd 
By fatal Nature to man's warring kind : 
Mark ! where his carnage and his conquests cease- ! 
He makes a solitude, and calls it — peace ! 
F like the rest must use my skill or strength, 
But ask no land beyond my sabre's length •» 
Power sways but by division — her resource 
The blest alternative of fraud or force ! 
Ours be the last ; in time deceit may come, 
When eities cage us in a social home : 
There ev'n thy soul might err — how oft the heart 
Corruption shakes which peril could not part ! 
And woman, more than man, when death or wo?, 
Or even Disgrace, would lay her lover low, 
Sunk in the lap of Luxury will shame- 
Away Suspicion ! — not Zuleika's name ! 
But life is hazard at the best ; and here 
No more remains to win, and much to fear : 
Y"es, fear — the doubt, the dread of losing thee, 
By Osman's power, and Giaffir's stern decree. 
That dread shall vanish with the favouring gale, 
Which Love to-night hath promised to my sail : 
No danger daunts the pair his smile hath bless'd, 
Their steps still roving, but their hearts at rest. 
With thee all toils are sweet, each clime hath chairns 
Earth — sea alike — our world within our arms ! 
Ay — let the loud winds whistle o'er the deck, 
So that those arms cling closer round my neck : 
The deepest murmur o\ this lip shall be 
No sigh for safety, but a prayer tor thee ! 
The war of elements no fears impart 
To Love, whose deadliest bane is human Art : 
There he the only rocks our course can check ; 
Here moments menace — there are years of wreck 1 
But hence ye thoughts that rise in Horror's shape f 
This hour bestows, or ever bars escape. 
Few words remain of mine my tale to close : 
Of thine but one to waft us from our foes 1 



—>& 




Dauntless he stood—" 'Tis come— soon past- 
One kiss, Zuleika— 'tis my last." 

Bride of Abydos, canto ii. 23 



-e* 



THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS. 205 

Yea — fo6t> — to me will Giaffir's hate decline ? 
A.nd is not Osman, who would part us, thine ? 

XXI. 

*'His head and faith from doubt and death 

Return'd in time my guard to save ; 

Few heard, none told, that o'er the wave 
From isle to isle I roved the while : 
And since, though parted from my band, 
Too seldom now I leave the land, 
No deed they've done, nor deed shall do, 
Ere I have heard and doom'd it too : 
I form the plan, decree the spoil, 
'Tis fit I oftener share the toil. 
But now too long I've held thine ear ; 
Time presses, floats my bark, and here 
We leave behind but hate and fear. 
To-morrow Osman with his train 
Arrives — to-night must break thy chain : 
And wouldst thou save that haughty Bey, 

Perchance, his life who gave thee thine, 
With me this hour away — away ! 

But yet, though thou art plighted mine, 
Wouldst thou recall thy willing vow, 
Appall' d by truths imparted now, 
Here rest I — not to see thee wed : 
But be that peril on my head !" 

xxn. 

Zuleika, mute and motionless, 

Stood like that statue of distress, 

When, her last hope for ever gone, 

The mother harden'd into stone ; 

All in the maid that eye could see 

Was but a younger Niobe. 

But ere her lip, or even her eye, 

Essay'd to speak, or look reply, 

Beneath the garden's wicket porch 

Far flash'd on high a blazing torch ! 
Another — and another — and another — ■ 
" Oh ! fly — no more — yet now my more than brother 1' 

Far, wide, through every thicket spread, 

The fearful lights are gleaming red ; 

Nor these alone — for each right hand 

Is ready with a sheathless brand. 

They part, pursue, return, and wheel 

With searching flambeau, shining steel ; 

And last of all, his sabre waving, 

Stern Giaffir in his fury raving : — s 

And now almost they touch the cave — 

Oh ! must that grot be Selim's grave ? 

XXIII. 
Dauntless he stood — "'Tis come — soon past- 
One kiss, Zuleika — 'tis my last : 




H> 



206 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But yet my band not far from shore 
May hear this signal, see the flash ; 
Yet now too few — the attempt were rasi. : 

No matter — yet one effort more. " 
Forth to the cavern mouth he stepp'd ; 

His pistol's echo rang on high, 
Zuleika started not, nor wept, 

Despair benumb'd her breast and eye ! — 

" They hear me not, or if they ply 

Their oars, 'tis but to see me die ; 

That sound hath drawn my foes moro nigb« 
Then forth my father's scimitar, 
Thou ne'er hast seen less equal war ! 

Farewell, Zuleika ! — Sweet ! retire : 
Yet stay within — here linger safe, 
At thee his rage will only chafe. 
Stir not — lest even to thee perchance 
Some erring blade or ball should glance. 

Fear'st thou for him ? — may L expire 

If in this strife I seek thy sire ! 
No — though by him that poison pour'd : 
No — though again he call me coward ! 
But tamely shall I meet their steel ? 
No — as each crest save his may feel ! " 

XXIV. 

One bound he made, and gain'd the sand : 

Already at his feet hath sunk 
The foremost of the prymg band, 

A gasping head, a quivering trunk : 
Another falls — but round him close 

A swarming circle of his foes ; 
From right to left his path he cleft, 

And almost met the meeting wave : 
His boat appears — not five oars' length — 
His comrades strain with desperate streugth- 

Oh ! are they yet in time to save ? 

His feet the foremost breakers lave ; 
His band are plunging in the bay, 
Their sabres glitter through the spray ; 
Wet- —wild — unwearied to the strand 
They struggle — now they touch the land ! 
They come — 'tis but to add to slaughter — 
His heart's best blood is on the water ! 

• XXV. 

Escaped from shot, unharm'd by steely 
Or scarcely grazed its force to feel, 
Had Selim won, betray'd, beset, 
To where the strand and billows met : 
There as his last step left the land, 
A nd the last death-blow dealt his hand — 
Ah ! wherefore did he turn to look 
^or her his eye but soupht in vai^ ? 






■q 



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THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS. ZO y 

That pause, that fatal gaze he took, 

Hath doom'd his death or fix'd his chain, 
Sad proof, in peril and in pain, 
How late will Lover's hope remain ! 
His back was to the dashing spray ; 
Behind, but close, his comrades lay, 
When, at the instant, hiss'd the ball — 
" So may the foes of Giaffir fall ! " 
Whose voice is heard ? whose carbine rang ? 
Whose bullet through the night-air sang, 
Too nearly, deadly aim'd to err ? 
'Tis thine — Abdallah's murderer ! 
The father slowly rued thy hate, 
The son hath found a quicker fate : 
Fast from his breast the blood is bubbling, 
The whiteness of the sea-foam troubling — 
If aught his lips essay'd to groan, 
The rushing billows choked the tone ! 

XXVI. 
Morn slowly rolls the clouds away ; 

Few trophies of the fight are there : 
The shouts that shook the midnight bay 
Are silent ; but some signs of fray 

That strand of strife may bear. 
And fragments of each shiver'd brand ; 
Steps stamp'd ; and dash'd into the sand 
The print of many a struggling hand 
May there be mark'd ; nor far remote 
A broken torch, an oarless boat ; 
Lnd tangled on the weeds that heap 
The beach where shelving to the deep 

There lies a white capote ! 
'Tis rent in twain — one dark-red stain 
The wave yet ripples o'er in vain : 

But where is he who wore ? 
Ye ! who would o'er his relics weep, 
Go, seek them where the surges sweep 
Their burthen round Sigaeum's steep, 

And cast on Lemnos' shore : 
The sea-birds shriek above the prey, 
O'er which their hungry beaks delay, 
As shaken on his restless pillow, 
His head heaves with the heaving billow J 
That hand, whose motion is not hfe, 
Yet feebly seems to menace strife, 
Flung by the tossing tide on high, 

Then levell'd with the wave — 
What recks it, though that corse shall lie 

Within a living grave ? 
The bird that tears that prostrate form 
Hath only robb'd the meaner worm ; 
The only heart, the only eye 
Had bled or wept to see him die, 




H H^4 

208 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Had seen those scatfcer'd limbs composed, 

And mourn'd above his turban-stone,* 
That heart hath burst — that eye was closed — 

Yea — closed before his own ! 

xxvn. 

By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail ! 
And woman's eye is wet — man's cheek is pale : 
Zuleika ! last of Giaffir's race, 

Thy destined lord is come too late : 
He sees not — ne'er shall see — thy face ! 

Can he not hear 
The loud Wul-wulleh warn his distant ear ?t 

Thy handmaids weeping at the gate, 

The Koran-chanters of the hymn of fate, 

The silent slaves with folded arms that wait, 
Sighs in the hall, and shrieks upon the gale, 

Tell him thy tale ! 
Thou didst not view thy Selim fall ! 

That fearful moment when he left the cave 
Thy heart grew chill : 
He was thy hope — thy joy — thy love — thine all — 

And that last thought on him thou couldst not save 
Sufficed to kill ; 
Burst forth in one wild cry — and all was still. 

Peace to thy broken heart, and virgin grave ! 
Ah ! happy ! but of life to lose the worst ! 
That grief — though deep — though fatal — was thy first I 
Thrice happy ! ne'er to feel nor fear the force 
Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge, remorse ! 
And, oh ! that pang where more than madness lies ! 
The worm that will not sleep — and never dies ; 
Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night, 
That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light, 
That winds around, and tears the quivering heart ! 
Ah ! wherefore not consume it — and depart ! 
Woe to thee, rash and unrelenting chief! 

Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head, 

Vainly the sackcloth o'er thy limbs doth spread ; 

By that same hand Abdallah — Selim — bled. 
Now let it tear thy beard in idle grief : 
Thy pride of heart, thy bride for Osman's bed, 
She, whom thy sultan had but seen to wed, 
Thy Daughter 's dead ! 

Hope of thine age, thy twilight's lonely beam, 

The Star hath set that shone on Helle's stream. 
What quench'd its ray ? — the blood that thou hast shed ! 
Hark ! to the hurried question of Despair : 
"Where is my child?" — an Echo answers — "Where?" % 

• A turban is carved in stone above the graves of men only. — B. 

f The death -song of the Turkish women. The " silent slaves" are the mes, who&c 
actions of decorum forbid complaint in public. — B. 

% " I came to the pkice of my birth and cried, ' Tne friends of my youth, where are 
they 1' and an Echo answered, ' Where are they ?' "—From an Arabic MS. 

The above quotation (from which the idea in the text is taken) must be already famtfiax 



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THE BRIDE OF ABTtDOS. 209 

XXVIII. 

Within the place of thousand tomb*. 

That shine beneath, while dark above, 
The sad but living cypress glooms, 

And withers not, though branch and loaf 
Are stamp'd with an eternal grief, 

Like early unrequited Love, 
One spot exists, which ever bloomn, 

Ev'n in that deadly grove — 
A single rose is shedding there 

Its lonely lustre moek and pale : 
It looks as planted by Despair — 

So white — so faint — the slightest gale 
Might whirl the leaves on high ; 

And yet, though storms and blight assail 
And hands more rude than wintry sky 

May wring it from the stem — in vain — 

To-morrow sees it bloom again ! 
The stalk some spirit gently rears, 
And waters with celestial tears ; 

For well may maids of Helle deem 
That this can be no earthly flower, 
Which mocks the tempest's withering hour, 
And buds unshelter'd by a bower ; 
Nor droops, though spring refuse her shower, 

Nor woos the summer beam : 
To it the livelong night there sings 

A bird unseen — but not remote : 
Invisible his airy wings, 
But soft as harp that Houri strings, 

His long entrancing note ! 
It were the Bulbul ; but his throat, 

Though mournful, pours not such a strain .' 
For they who listen cannot leave 
The spot, but linger there and grieve, 

As if they loved in vain ! 
And yet so sweet the tears they shed, 
'Tis sorrow so unmix'd with dread, 
They scarce can bear the morn to break 

That melancholy spell, 
And longer yet would weep and wake, 

He sings so wild and well ! 
But when the day-blush bursts from high, 
Expires that magic melody. 
And some have been who could believe 
(So fondly youthful dreams deceive, 

Yet harsh be they that blame) 
That note so piercing and profound 
Will shape and syllable its sound 
Into Zuleika s name.* 

to •i?«ry Te.<v'er— it Is given in the first annotation (p. 87) of " The Pletc-rtfes of Menvary {* 
a poem so well known as to render a reference almost superfluous ; but to whose pages sJ! 
will be delighted to recur. — B. 
' '' -iOii %hv tongue* that tyllable men » uani-.s "— SIu-toh. Fct a baJinf that the souls 



w* 



4- 



4 



2 io BYRON'S POEMS. 

'Tis from her cypress' summit heard, 
That melts in air the liquid word ; 
'Tis from her lowly vir " earth 
That white rose takes its tender birth. 
There late was laid a marble stone ; 
Eve saw it placed — the Morrow gone ! 
It was no mortal arm that bore 
That deep-fix' d pillar to the shore; 
For there, as Helle's legends tell, 
Next morn 'twas found where Selim fell ; 
Lash'd by the tumbling tide, whoee wave 
Denied his bones a holier grave : 
And there by night, reclined, 'iw said, 
Is seen a ghastly turban'd head : 
And hence extended by the billow, 
'Tis named the " Pirate-phantom's pillow I n 
Where first it lay, that mourning flower 
Hath flourish 'd ; flourLsheth this hour, 
Alone and dewy, coldly pure and pale ; 
A.a weeping Beauty's cheek at Sorrow's talo 1 



TO GENEVRA. 
L 

Thine eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair, 
And the wan lustre of thy features — caught 
From contemplation — where serenely wrought, 

Seems sorrow's softness charm 'd from its despair — 

Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air, 
That — but I know thy blessed bosom fraught 
W ; th mines of unalloy'd and stainless thought — 

I should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care. 

"With such an aspect, by his colours blent, 
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born 

(Except that thou nast nothing to repent), 
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn — 

Such seem'st thou — but how much more excellent ! 
With nought Remorse can claim — nor Virtue scorn. 

December 17, 1319. 

of the dead Inhabit the form of birds, we need not travel to the East. Lord LytOeton'i 
gh ast story , the belief of the Duchess of Kendal, that George L flew into her window in the 
shape of a raven (see OTford's "Reminiscences"), and many other instances, bring this 
superstition nearer home. The most singular was the whim of a Worcester lady, who, 
believing h-ar daughter to exist in the shape of a singing bird, literally furnished her 
pew in the cathedral with cages full of the kind ; and as she was rich, and a benefactreoo 
In bfWuMfving the church, no objection was made to her hhrrulesu follv — For this arm* 
dole. Bins Ortord'f " I/ett»n. " • — S 



♦$■ 



~€ 



> 



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SONNETS. 21 r 



i'EY check is pale with thought, but not from woe 
And vet so lovely, that it mirth could flush 
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, 

''v heart would wish awuy that ruder glow : 

And dazzle not thy deep blue eyes — but, oh ! 
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush, 
And into mine my mother's weakness rush, 

Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow. 

For, through thy long dark lashes low depending,, 
The soul of melancholy Gentleness 

Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending, 
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress ; 

At once such majesty with sweetness blendicg, 
1 worship more, but cannot love thee less. 



v 

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♦& 



THE C R 8 A I R. 



TO THOMAS MOORE, ESQ,. 

!l?7 CKA» MoORK, 

] uBinfATK to you the last production with which I shrill trespass on 
public patience, and your indulgence, for some years ; and I own that 1 
teel anxious to avail myself of this latest and only opportunity of adorning 
my pages with a name, consecrated by unshaken public principle, and the 
most undoubted and various talents. While Ireland ranks you among the 
firmest of her patriots ; while you stand alone the first of her bards in 
U«r estimation, and Britain repeats and ratifies the decree, permit one, 
whose only regret, since our first acquaintance, has been the years he 
had lost before it commenced, to add the humble but sincere suffrage of 
friendship, to the voice of more than one nation. It will at least prove to 
you, that 1 have neither forgotten the gratification derived from your so- 
ciety, nor abandoned the prospect of its renewal, whenever your leisure or 
Inclination allows you to atone to your friends for too long an absence. It 
is said among those friends, I trust truly, that you are engaged in the com- 
position of a poem whose scene w r ill be laid in the East : none can do those 
scenes so much justice. The wrongs of your own country, the magnificent 
and fiery spiiit of her sons, the beauty and feeling' of her daughters, may 
there be found ; and Collins, when he denominated his Oriental his Iris4i 
Eclogues, was not aware how true, at least, was a part of his parallel. 

Your imagination will create a warmer sun, and less clouded sky ; but 
wildness, tenderness, and originality, are part of your national claim of 
oriental descent, to which you have already thus far proved your title more 
clearly than the most zealous of your country's antiquarians. 

May I add a few words on a subject on which all men are supposed to be 
fluent, and none agreeable ? — Self. I have written much, and published 
more than enough to demand a longer silence than I now meditate ; but. 
for some years to come, it is my intention to tempt no further the award 
of " Gods, men, nor columns." In the present composition I have at 
tempted not the most difficult, but, perhaps, the best adapted measure to 
our language, the good old and now neglected heroic couplet. The stanza 
of Spenser is perhaps too slow and dignified for narrative ; though, I confe ; s 
it is the measure most after my own heart : Scott alone, of the prese >t 
generation, has hitherto compietely triumphed over the fatal facility of the 
octosyllabic verse; and this is not the least victory of his fertile and mighty 
genius : in blank verse, Milton, Thomson, and our dramatists, are the 
beacons that shine along the deep, but warn us from the rough and barren 
rock on which they are kindled. The heroic couplet is not the most popu- 
lar measure, certainly ; but as I did not deviate into the other from a 
wish to flatter what is called public opinion, I shall quit it without further 
apology, and take my chance once more with that versification in which I 
have hitherto published nothing but compositions whose former circulation 
is part of my present, and will be of my future, regret. 

With regard to my story, and stories in general, I should have been glad 
to have rendered my personages more perfect and amiable, if possible, 
inasmuch as I have been sometimes criticised, and considered no less 
responsible for their deeds and qualities than if all had been personal. Be 
it so — if I have deviated into the gloomy vanity of" drawing from self," th« 
pictures are probably like, since they are unfavourable ; and if not, those 



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THE CORSAIR. 213 

who know me are undeceived, and those who do not, I have little interest 
In undeceiving. I have no particular desire that any but my acquaintance 
should think the author better than the beings of his imagining) but 1 
cannot help a little surprise, and perhaps amusement, at some odd critical 
exceptions in the present instance, when I -ce several bards (far more 
deserving, I allow) in very reputable plight, and quite exempted from all 
participation in the faults of those heroes, who, nevertheless, might be 
found with little more morality than " The Giaour," and perhaps — but 
no — I must admit Childe Harold to be a very repulsive personage ; and as 
to his identity, those who like it must give him whatever "alias" they 
please. 

If, however, It were worth while to remove the impression, it might be 
of some service tome, that the man who is alike the delight of his readers 
and his friends, the poet of all circles, and the idol of his own, permits 01* 
here and elsewhere to subscribe myself, 
Most truly, 

And affectionately, 

His obedient servant, 

January 2, 1814. BYRON. 



THE CORSAIR. 



CANTO THE FIRST. 



O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,* 
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free, 
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam, 
Survey our empire, and behold our home ! 
These are our realms, no limits to their sway — 
Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey. 
Ours the wild life in tumult still to range 
From toil to rest, and joy in every change. 
Oh, who can tell ? not thou, luxurious slave ! 
Whose soul would sicken o'er the heaving wave ; i* 
Not thou, vain lord of wantonness and ease ! 
Whom slumber soothes not — pleasure cannot please— 
Oh, who can tell save he whose heart hath tried, 
And danced in triumph o'er the waters wide, 
The exulting sense — the pulse's maddening play. 
That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way ? 
That for itself can woo the approaching fight, 
And turn what some deem danger to delight ; 
That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal, 
And where the feebler faint — can only feel — 
Feel — to the rising bosom's inmost core, 
It3 hope awaken and its spirit soar ? 

• The time in this poem may -seem too short for the occurrence* ; but the whole of the 
(Egean isles are within a few hours' sail of the continent, and the reader must be kind 
enough to take the wind as I have often found it. — B. 

t Byron's lameness made the water his element. Had he bsen a devoted hunter, or a 
soldier, his apostrophes would have been quite as wanr 



*n: 



♦&* 




2i 4 B IRON'S POEMS. 

No dread of death — if with us die our foes- — 
Save that it seems even duller than repose : 
Come when it will — we snatch the life of life — 
When lost — what recks it — by disease or strife i 
Let him who crawls enamour'd of decay, 
Cling to his couch, and sicken years away ; 
Heave his thick breath, and shake his palsied head J 
Ours — the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed. 
While gasp by gasp he falters forth his soul, 
Ours with one pang — one bound — escapes control. 
His corse may boast its urn and narrow cave, 
And they who loath'd his life may gild his grave : 
Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed, 
When Ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead. 
For us, even banquets fond regrets supply 
In the red cup that crowns our memory • 
And the brief epitaph in danger's day, 
When those who win at length divide the prey, 
And cry, Remembrance saddening o'er each brow, 
How had the brave who fell exulted no+o I 

n. 

Such were the notes that from the Pirates' isle, 
Around the kindling watch-fire rang the while ; 
Such were the sounds that thrill'd the rocks alonj, 
And unto ears as rugged seem'd a song ! 
In scatter'd groups upon the golden sand, 
\They game — carouse — converse — or whet the brand J 
Select the arms — to each his blade assign, 
nd careless eye the blood that dims its shine ; 
pair the boat, replace the helm or oar, 
While others straggling muse along the shore ; 
For the wild bird the busy spring ^s set, 
Or spread beneath the sun the dripping ne l : 
Uaze where some distant sail a speck Bupf&tt, 
With all the thirsting eye of Enterprise ; 
Tell o'er the tales of many a night of toil, 
And marvel where they next shall seize a spoil : 
No matter where — their chief's allotment this ; 
Theirs, to believe no prey nor plan amiss, 
But who that Chief ? his name on every shore 
Is famed and fear'd — they ask and know no mors, 
With these he mingles not but to command ; 
Few are his words, but keen his eye and hand. 
Ne'er seasons he with mirth their jovial mess, 
But they forgive his silence for success. 
Ne'er for his up the purpling cup they fill, 
That goblet passes him un tasted still — 
And for his fare — the rudest of his crew 
Would that, in turn, have pass'd un tasted too ; 
Earth's coarsest bread, the garden's homeliest rootiv 
And scarce the summer luxury of fruits, 
His short repast in humbleness supply 
With ail a hermit's U>a.al would scarce iaay. 



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THE CORSAIR. 215 

But while he shuns the grosser joys of sense, 

His mind seerns nourish'd by that abstinence. 

" Steer to that shore ! " — thoy sail. " Do this ! " — 'tis done ! 

" Now form and follow me ! " — the spoil is won. 

Thus prompt his accents and his actions still, 

And all obey and lew inquire his will ; 

To such, brief answer and contemptuous eye 

Convey reproof, nor further deign reply. 

III. 

" A sail ! — a sail ! " — a promised prize to Hope ! 

Her nation — flag — how speaks the telescope? 

No prize, alas ! — but yet a welcome sail : 

1 he blood-red signal glitter? in the gale. 

Yes — she is ours — a home-returning bark — 

Blow fair, thou breeze ! — she anchors ere the dark. 

Already doubled is the cape — our bay 

Receives that prow which proudly spurns the spray. 

How gloriously her gallant course she goes ! 

Her white wings flying — never from her foes — 

She walks the waters like a thing of life, 

And seems to dare the elements to strife. 

Who would not brave the battle-fire — the wreck — 

To move the monarch of her peopled deck ? 

IV. 

Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings : 

The sails are furl'd ; and anchoring round she swings ; 

And gathering loiterers on the land discern 

Her boat descending from the latticed stern. 

'Tis mann'd — the oars keep concert to the strand, 

Till grates her keel upon the shallow sand. 

Hail to the welcome shout ! — the friendly speech ! 

When hand grasps hand uniting on the beach ; 

The smile, the question, and the quick reply, 

And the heart's promise of festivity ! 



The tidings spread, and gathering grows the crowd ; 
The hum of voices, and the laughter loud, 
And woman's gentler anxious tone is heard. — 
Friends' — husbands' — lovers' names in each dear word : 
" Oh ! are they safe ? we ask not of success — 
But shall we see them ? — will their accents bless ? 
^'rom where the battle roars — the billows chafe — 
/hey doubtless boldly did — but who are safe ? 
Here let them haste to gladden and surprise, 
And kiss the doubt from these delighted eyes !" 

VI. 

" Where is our chief? for him we bear report — 
And doubt that joy — which hails our coming — short | 
Yet thus sincere — 'tis cheering, though so brief ; 
But, Juan ! instant fruide us to our chief : 



^ 



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*e* 



216 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Car greeting paid, we'll feast on oui return, 
And all shall hear what each may wish to learn. 
Ascending slowly by the rock-hewn way, 
To where his watch-tower beetles o'er the bay, 
By bushy brake, and wild flowers blossoming, 
And freshness breathing from each silver spring, 
Whose scatter'd streams from granite basins burst , 
Leap into life, and sparkling woo your thirst ; 
From crag to cliff they mount— !N T ear yonder cave, 
What lonely straggler looks along the wave ? 
In pensive posture leaning on the brand, 
Not oft a resting-staff to that red hand ? 
"'Tis he — 'tis Conrad — here — as wont — alone : 
On — Juan ! — on — and make our purpose known. 
The bark he views — and tell him we would greet 
His ear with tidings he must quickly meet : 
We dare not yet approach — thou know'st his mood, 
When strange or uninvited steps intrude." 

vn. 

Him Juan sought, and told of their intent ; — 

He spake not — but a sign express'd assent. 

These Juan calls — they come — to their salute 

He bends him slightly, but his lips are mute. 

" These letters, Chief, are from the Greek — the spy, 

Who still proclaims our spoil or peril nigh : 

Whate'er his tidings, we can well report 

Much that" — " Peace, peace !" — he cuts their prating shcrt 

Wondering they turn, abash'd, while each to each 

Conjecture whispers in his muttering speech : 

They watch his glance with many a stealing look, 

To gather how that eye the tidings took ; 

But, this as if he guess'd, with head aside, 

Perchance from some emotion, doubt, or pride, 

He read the scroll — " My tablets, Juan, hark — 

Where is Gonsalvo?" 

"In the anchor'd bark.*' 
"There let him stay — to him this order bear. 
Back to your duty — for my course prepare : 
Myself this enterprise to-night will share." 
" To-night, Lord Conrad ? " 

" Ay ! at set of s*cr. : 
The breeze will freshen when the day is done. 
My corslet — cloak — one hour — and we are gone. 
Sling on thy bugle — see that free from rust 
My carbine-lock springs worthy of my trust ; 
Be the edge sharpen'd of my boarding-brand, 
And give its guard more room to fit my hand. 
This let the Armourer with speed dispose ; 
Last time it more fatigued my arm than foes : 
Mark that the signal-gun be duly fired, 
To tell us when the hour of stay 's expired." 

& 4 



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THE CORSAIR. 



217 



VIII. 

They make obeisance and retire in haste, 

Too soon to seek again the watery waste : 

Yet they repine not — so that Conrad guides, 

And who dare question aught that he decides ? 

That man of loneliness and mystery, 

Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh ; 

Whose name appals the fiercest of his crew, 

And tints each swarthy cheek with sallower hue , 

Still sways their souls with that commanding art 

That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart. 

What is that spell, that thus his lawless train 

Confess and envy, yet oppose in vain ? 

What should it be, that thus their faith can bind ? 

The power of thought — the magic of the Mind ! 

Link'd with success, assumed and kept with skill, 

That moulds another's weakness to its will : 

Wields with their hands, but, still to these unknown:. 

Makes even their mightiest deeds appear his own. 

Such hath it been— shall be — beneath the sun 

The many still must labour for the one ! 

Tis Nature's doom — but let the wretch who toils, 

Accuse not, hate not him who wears the spoils. 

Oh ! if he knew the weight of splendid chains, 

How light the balance of his humbler pains ! 

IX. 

Unlike the heroes of each ancient race, 

Demons in act, but gods at least in face, 

In Conrad's form seems little to admire, 

Though his dark eyebrow shades a glance of fire : 

Robust but not Herculean — to the sight 

No giant frame sets forth his common height ; 

Yet, in the whole, who paused to look again, 

Saw more than marks the crowd of vulgai men ; 

They gaze and marvel how — and still confess 

That thus it is, but why they cannot guess. 

Sun-burnt his cheek, his forehead high and pale 

The sable curls in wild profusion veil ; 

And oft perforce his rising lip reveals 

The haughtier thought it curbs, but scarce conceals. 

Though smooth his voice, and calm his general miei% 

Still seems there something he would not have seeri i 

His features' deepening lines and varying hue 

At times attracted, yet perplex' d the view, 

As if within that murkiness of mind 

Work'd feelings fearful, and yet undefined ; 

Such might it be — that none could truly tell — 

Too close inquiry his stern glance would quell. 

There breathe but few whose aspect might defy 

The full encounter of his searching eye ; 

He had the skill, when Cunning's gaze would seek 

To probe his heart and watch bis changing cheek. 



4" 



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& 



2 1 8 BYRON'S POEMS. 

At once the observer's purpose to espy, 

And on himself roll back his scrutiny, 

Lest he to Conrad rather should betray 

Some secret thought, than drag that chief's to <iay. 

There was a laughing Devil in his sneer, 

That raised emotions both of rage and fear ; 

And where his frown of hatred darkly fell, 

Hope withering fled — and Mercy sigh'd farev/oli I 



Slight are the outward signs of evil thought, 
Within — within — 'twas there the spirit wrought ' 
Love shows all changes — Hate, Ambition, Guile, 
Betray no further than the bitter smile ; 
The lip's least curl, the lightest paleness thrown 
Along the govern'd aspect, speak alone 
Of deeper passions ; and to judge their mien, 
He who would see, must be himself unseen. 
Then — with the hurried tread, the upward eye, 
The clenched hand, the pause of agony, 
That listens, starting, lest the step too near 
Approach intrusive on that mood of fear : 
Then — with each feature working from the heart, 
With feelings loosed to strengthen — not depart : 
That rise — convulse — contend — that freeze or glow, 
Flush in the cheek, or damp upon the brow ; 
Then — Stranger ! if thou canst, and tremblest not, 
Behold his soul — the rest that soothes his lot ! 
Mark — how that lone and blighted bosom sears 
The scathing thought of execrated years ! 
Behold — but who hath seen, or e'er shall soo, 
Man as himself — the secret spirit free ? 

XI. 

Yet was not Conrad thus by nature sent 

To lead the guilty — guilt's worst instrument — 

His soul was changed, before his deeds had driven 

Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven. 

Warp'd by the world in disappointment's school, 

In words too wise, in conduct there a fool ; 

Too firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop, 

Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe, 

He cursed those virtues as the cause of ill, 

And not the traitors who betray'd him still , 

Nor deem'd that gifts bestow'd on better men 

Had left him joy, and means to give again. 

Fear'd — shunn'd — belied — ere youth had lost her lorw-. 

He hated man too much to feel remorse, 

And thought the voice of wrath a sacred call, 

To pay the injuries of some on all. 

He knew himself a villain — but he deem'd 

The rest no better than the thing he seem'd ; 

And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid 

Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did. 



O 



■4 



THE CORSAIR. 219 

He knew himself detested, but be knew 

The hearts that loath'd him, crouch'd and dreaded too. 

Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt 

From all affection and from all contempt: 

His name could sadden, and his acts surprise; 

But they that fear'd him dared not to despise. 

Man spurns the worm, but pauses ere he wake 

The slumbering venom of the folded snake : 

The first may turn — but not avenge the bloT.' ; 

The last expires — but leaves no living foe ; 

Fast to the doom'd offender's form it clings, 

And he may crush — not conquer — still it stings ! 

XII. 

None are all evil — quickening round his heart, 

One softer feeling would not yet depart ; 

Oft could he sneer at others as beguiled 

By passions worthy of a fool or child ; 

Yet 'gainst that passion vainly still he strove, 

And even in him it asks the name of Love ! 

Yes, it was love — unchangeable — unchanged, 

Felt but for one from whom he never ranged ; 

Though fairest captives daily met his eye, 

He shunn'd, nor sought, but coldly pass'd them by ; 

Though many a beauty droop'd in prison'd bower, 

None ever soothed his most unguarded hour. 

Yes — it was Love — if thoughts of tenderness, 

Tried in temptation, strengthen' d by distress, 

Unmoved by absence, firm in every clime, 

And yet — oh, more than all ! — untired by time ; 

Which nor defeated hope, nor baffled wile, 

Could render sullen, were she near to smile ; 

Nor rage could fire, nor sickness fret to vent 

On her one murmur of his discontent ; 

Which still would meet with joy, with calmness part; 

Lest that his look of grief should reach her heart ; 

Which nought removed, nor menaced to remove— 

If there be love in mortals — this was love ! 

He was a villain — ay — reproaches shower 

On him — but not the passion, nor its power, 

Which onby proved, all other virtues gone, 

Not guilt itself could quench this loveliest one t 



XIII. 

He paused a moment— till his hastening men 
Pass'd the first winding downward to the glen. 
" Strange tidings ! — many a peril have I pass'd f 
Nor know I why this next appears the last ! 
Yet so my heart forebodes but must not fear, 
Nor shall my followers find me falter here. 
Tis rash to meet, but surer death to wait 
Till here they hunt us to undoubted fate ; 



< 



*&+ 



<'.» 



2 20 BYR ON 'S FOB MS. 

And, if my plan but hold, and Fortune smile, 

We'll furnish mourners for our funeral -pile. 

Ay — let them slumber — peaceful be their dreams 1 

Morn ne'er awoke them with such brilliant beams 

As kindle high to-night (but blow thou breeze !) 

To warm these slow avengers of the seas. 

Now to Medora — Oh ! my sinking heart, 

Long may her own be lighter than thou art ! 

Yet was I brave — mean boast where all are brava [ 

Ev'n insects sting for aught they seek to save. 

This common courage which with brutes we shar? ; 

That owes its deadliest efforts to despair, 

Small merit claims— but 'twas my nobler hope 

To teach my few with numbers still to cope ; 

Long have I led them — not to vainly bleed : 

No medium now — we perish or succeed ! 

So let it be — it irks not me to die ; 

But thus to urge them whence they cannot By. 

My lot hath long had little of my care, 

But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare : 

Is this my skill ! my craft 1 to set at last 

Hope, power, and life upon a single cast ? 

Oh, Fate ! — accuse thy folly, not thy fate — 

She may redeem thee still — nor yet too late." 

XIV. 

Thus with himself communion held he, till 
He reach'd the summit of his tower-crown'd hill : 
There at the portal paused — for wild and soft 
He heard those accents, never heard too oft ; 
Through the high lattice far yet sweet they rang, 
And these the notes his bird of beauty sung : — 



" Deep in my soul that tender secret dwells, 
Lonely and lost to light for evermore, 

Save when to thine my heart responsive swells, 
Then trembles into silence as before. 



" There, in its centre, a sepulchral lamp 
Burns the slow flame, eternal — but unseen ; 

Which not the darkness of despair can damp, 
Though vain its ray as it had never been. 

3. 

" Remember me — Oh ! pass not thou my grave 
Without one thought whose relics there recline 

The only pang my bosom dare not brave 
Must be to find forgetfulness in thine. 

4. 

" My fondest — faintest — latest accents hear : 
Grief for the dead not Virtue can reprove ; 



♦$* 



<> 



b 



THE CORSAIR. 221 

Then give me all I ever ask'd — a tear, 
The first —last — sole reward of so muuh love 1 q 

He pass'd the portal — cross'd the corridore, 
/Ind reach'd the chamber as the strain gave c e; . 
"My own Medora ! sure thy song is sad"' — 

" In Conrad's absence wouldst thou have it glad ? 
Without thine ear to listen to my lay, 
itill must my song my thoughts, my soul betray : 
Still must each accent to my bosom suit, 
My heart unhush'd — although my lips were muto ! 
Oh ! many a night on this lono couch reclined, 
My dreaming fear with storms hath wing'd the win<L 
And deem'd the breath that faintly fann'd thy sail 
The murmuring prelude of the ruder gale ; 
Though soft, it seem'd the low prophetic dirge, 
That mourn'd thee floating on the savage surge : 
Still would I rise to rouse the beacon fire, 
Lest spies less true should let the blaze expire : 
And many a restless hour outwatch'd each star, 
And morning came — and still thou wert afar. 
Oh ! how the chill blast on my bosom blew, 
And day broke dreary on my troubled view, 
And still I gazed and gazed — and not a prow 
Was granted to my tears — my truth — my vow ! 
At length — 'twas noon — I hail'd and bless'd the mact 
That met my sight — it near'd — Alas ! it pass'd ! 
Another came — oh ! God 'twas thine at last ! 
Would that those days were over ! wilt thou ne'er, 
My Conrad ! learn the joys of peace to share ? 
Sure thou hast more than wealth, and many a home 
As bright as this invites us not to roam : 
Thou know'st it is not peril that I fear, 
I only tremble when thou art not here ; 
Then not for mine, but that far dearer life. 
Which flies from love and languishes for strife- 
How strange that heart, to me so tender still, 
Should war with nature and its better will ! " 

" Yea, strange indeed — that heart hath long been Aanged { 
Worm-like 'twas trampled — adder-like avenged, 
Without one hope on earth beyond thy love, 
And scarce a glimpse of mercy from above. 
Yet the same feeling which thou dost condemn, 
$Iy very love to thee is hate to them, 
So closely mingling here, that disentwined, 
I cease to love thee when I love mankind : 
Yet dread not this — the proof of all the past 
Assures the future that my love will last ; 
But — oh, Medora ! nerve thy gentler heart, 
This hour again — but not for long — we part." 

" This hour we part ! — my heart foreboded this ; 
Th'is ever fade my fairy dreams of bliss. 



+&< ►&♦ 



222 B IRON'S POEMS. 

This hour — it cannot be — this hour away ! 

Yon bark hath hardly anchor'd in the bay : 

Her consort still is absent, and her or^w 

Have need of rest before they toil anew ; 

My love ! thou mock'st my weakness, and wouldst steel 

My breast before the time when it must feel ; 

But trifle now no more with my distress, 

Such mirth hath less of play than bitterness. 

Be silent, Conrad ! — dearest ! come and share 

The feast these hands delighted to prepare ; 

Light toil ! to cull and dress thy frugal fare ! 

See, I have pluck'd the fruit that promised l> 

And where not sure, perplex'd, but pleased. 1 gueos'd 

At such as seem'd the fairest : thrice the hill 

My steps have wound to try the coolest rill ! 

Yes ! thy sherbet to-night will sweetly flow, — 

See how it sparkles in its vase of snow ! 

The grape's gay juice thy bosom never cheers ; 

Thou more than Moslem when the cup appears : 

Think not I mean to chide ; for I rejoice 

What others deem a penance is thy choice. 

But come, the board is spread ; our silver lamp 

Is trimm'd, and heeds not the sirocco's damp : 

Then shall my handmaids while the time along, 

And join with me the dance, or wake the song; 

Or my guitar, which still thou lov'st to hear, 

Shall soothe or lull — or, should it vex thine ear, 

We'll turn the tale by Ariosto told, 

Of fair Olympia, loved and left of old.* 

Why — thou wert worse than he who broke his vo'a 

To that lost damsel, shouldst thou leave me now ; 

Or even that traitor chief — I've seen thee smile, 

When the clear sky show'd Ariadne's isle, 

Which I have pointed from these cliffs the while ■ 

And thus, half sportive, half in fear, I said, 

Lest time should raise that doubt to more than dread 

Thus Conrad, too, will quit me for the main : 

Arid he deceived me — for — he came again ! " 

** Again — again — and oft again — my love ! 
If there be life below, and hope above, 
He will return — but now, the moments bring 
The time of parting with redoubled wing ; 
The why — the where — what boots it now to tell i 
Since all must end in that wild word — farewell ! 
Yet would I fain — did time allow — disclose — 
Fear not — these are no formidable foes ; 
And here shall watch a more than wonted gu 
For sudden siege and long deferice prepared ; 
Nor be thou lonely — though thy lord 's away, 
Our matrons and thy handmaids with thee stay ; 
And tins thy comfort, that, when next we meet; 
Security shall make repose more sweet. 

• OrL-usdo Furioso. C^.nrc JO.— A 

^ 4* 




She rose— she sprang — she clung' to his embrace, 
Till his heart heaved beneath her hidden face. 



Corsair, cant i. 14. 



-4* 



THE CORSATR. 223 

List ! — 'tis the bugle " — Juan shrilly blew — 
" One kiss — one more — another — oh ! Adieu • " 

She rose — she sprung — she clung to his embrace 
Till his heart heaved beneath her hidden face. 
He dared not raise to his that deep-blue eye, 
Which downcast droop' d in tearless agony. 
Her long fair hair lay floating o'er his arms, 
In al) the wildness of dishevell'd charms ; 
Scarce beat that bosom where his image dwelt 
So full — that feeling seem'd almost unfelt I 
Hark — peals the thunder of the signal-gun ! 
It told twas sunset — and he cursed that sun. 
Again — again — that form he madly press'd, 
Which mutely clasp'd, imploringly caress'd ! 
And tottering to the couch his bride he bore, 
One moment gazed — as if to gaze no more ; 
Felt — that for him earth held but her alone, 
Kiss'd her cold forehead — turn'd — is Conrad gone s 

xv. 

" And is he gone ?"— on sudden solitude 

How oft that fearful question will intrude ! 

" 'Twas but an instant past — and here he stood ! 

And now" — without the portal's porch she rush'd, 

And then at length her tears in freedom gush'd ; 

Big, — bright — and fast, unknown to her they fell ; 

But still her lips refused to send — '*■ Farewell ! " 

For in that word — that fatal word — howe'er 

We promise — hope — believe — there breathes despair, 

O'er every feature of that still pale face, 

Had sorrow fix'd what time can ne'er erase : 

The tender blue of that large loving eye 

Grew frozen with its gaze on vacancy, 

Till — oh, how far ! — it caught a glimpse of him, 

And then it flow'd — and phrensied seem'd to swim, 

Through those long, dark, and glistening lashes dew'd 

With drops of sadness oft to be renew'd. 

" He's gone ! " — against her heart that hand is drivea 

Convulsed and quick — then gently raised to heaven ; 

She look'd and saw the heaving of the main ; 

The white sail set — she dared not look again ; 

But turn'd with sickening soul within the gate — 

" It is no dream — and I am desolate ! " 

XVI. 

From crag to crag descending — swiftly sped 
Stern Conrad down, nor once he turn'd his head ; 
But shrunk whene'er the windings of his way 
Forced on his eye what he would not survey, 
His lone, but lovely dwelling on the steep, 
That hail'd him first when homeward from the deep ; 
And she — the dim and melancholy star, 
Whose ray of beauty reach' d him from afar. 



"t 



<> 



224 B YR ON ' S POEMS. 

On her he must not gaze, he must not think, 
There he might rest — but on Destruction's briak [ 
Yet once almost he stopp'd — and nearly gave 
His fate to chance, his projects to the wave ; 
But no — it must not be — a worthy chief 
May melt, but not betray to woman's grief. 
He sees his bark, he notes how fair the wind, 
And sternly gathers all his might of mind : 
Again he hurries on — and as he hears • 

The clang of Tumult vibrate on his ears, 
The busy sounds, the bustle of the shore, 
The shout, the signal, and the dashing oar ; 
As marks his eye the seaboy on the mast, 
The anchors rise, the sails unfurling fast, 
The waving kerchiefs of the crowd that urge 
That mute adieu to those who stem the surge ; 
And more than all, his blood-red flag aloft, 
He marvell'd how his heart could seem so soft. 
Fire in his glance, and wildness in his breast, 
He feels of all his former self possess' d ; 
He bounds — he flies — until his footsteps reac h 
The verge where ends the cliff, begins the beach. 
There checks his speed ; but pauses less to bix 
The breezy freshness of the deep beneath, 
Than there his wonted statelier step renew ; 
Nor rush, disturb'd by haste, to vulgar view : 
For well had Conrad learn'd to curb the crowd, 
By arts that veil, and oft preserve the proud ; 
His was the loft} 7 port, the distant mien, 
That seems to shun the sight — and awes if seen : 
The solemn aspect, and the high-born eye, 
That checks low mirth, but lacks not courtesy ; 
All these he wielded to command assent : 
But where he wish'd to win, so well unbent, 
That kindness cancell'd fear in those who heard, 
And others' gifts show'd mean beside his word, 
When echo'd to the heart, as from his own, 
His deep yet tender melody of tone : 
But such was foreign to his wonted mood, 
He cared not what he soften'd, but subdued ; 
The evil passions of his youth had made 
Him value less who loved — than what obey'd. 

XVII. 

Around him mustering ranged his .'eady guard. 
Before him Juan stands — " Are all prepared \ " 

" They are — nay more — embark' d '. the latest boat 

"Waits but my chief " 

" My swoid, and m) eapcto/ 
Soon firmly girded on, and lightly slung, 
His belt and cloak were o'er his shoulders flung : 
" Call Pedro here ! " — He comes — and Conrad bends, 
With all the courtesy he deign'd his friends • 



*T* 



4 



+&> 



7 HE CORSAIR. 22: 

"Receive these tablets, and peruse with care, 
Words of high trust and truth are graven thoro ; 
Double the guard, and when Ausehno's bark 
Arrives, let him alike these orders mark : 
In three days (serve the breeze) the sun shall shine 
-On our return — till then all peace be thine ! " 
This said, his brother Pirate's hand he wrung, 
Then to his boat with haughty gesture sprung. 
Flash'd the dipp'd oars, and sparkling with the stroke, 
Around the waves' phosphoric* brightness broke ; 
They gain the vessel — on the deck he stands, 
Shrieks the shrill whistle —ply the busy hands — 
He marks how well the ship her helm obeys, 
How gallant all her crew — and deigns to praise. 
His eyes of pride to young Gonsalvo turn — 
Why doth he start, and inly seem to mourn ? 
Alas ! those eyes beheld his rocky tower, 
And live a moment o'er the parting hour ; 
She — his Medora — did she mark the prow ? 
Ah ! never loved he half so much as now ! 
But much must yet be done ere dawn of day — 
Again he mans himself and turns away ; 
Down to the cabin with Gonsalvo bends, 
And there unfolds his plan — his means — and ends ; 
Before them burns the lamp, and spreads the cboxt, 
And all that speaks and aids the naval art ; 
They to the midnight watch protract debate ; 
To anxious eyes what hour is ever late ? 
Meantime the steady breeze serenely blew, 
And fast and falcondike the vessel new ; 
Pass'd the high headlands of each clustering isle, 
To gain their port — long — long ere morning smile : 
And soon the night-glass through the naiTOw bay 
Discovers where the Pacha's galleys lay. 
Count they each sail — and mark how there supine 
The lights in vain o'er heedless Moslem shine. 
Secure, unnoted, Conrad's prow pass'd by, 
A.nd anchor'd where his ambush meant to lie ; 
■Screen'd from espial by the jutting cape, 
That rears on high its rude fantastic shape. 
Then rose his band to duty — not from sleep — 
Equipp'd for deeds alike on land or deep ; 
While lean'd their leader o'er the fretting flood, 
And calmly talk'd — and yet he talk'd of blood ! 



CANTO THE SECOND. 

"Conosceste i dubiosi deairi ?"— Dabib. 
I. 

In Coron's bay floats many a galley light, 
Through Coron's lattices the lamps are bright, 
For Seyd, the Pacha, makes a feast to-night : 

'* 0y r*ght, particularly in a wann latitude, every =tiofce «£ the oar, evc-ry naoKssi & 
itb bo»t or ship, Is foUowed bv a slight Hash like she-,t-'khtair<? C"om the w»t&».~-A 

Ci 



i.^,< y ij *> j.. g t .j a i ^. l /.^^. i. m y. t ff u ^ u,. .. . ? o l M l ;, l v r ™T ' - ' Wl ' J. ? ' !*■■>>■. ' %"■ ' '* y SP- ».»"ji^jj 



H ^ 

226 BYRON'S POEMS. 

A feast for promised triumph yet to como, 
When he shall drag the fetter'd Rovers homa; 
This hath he sworn by Alia and his sword, 
And faithful to his firman and his word, 
His summon'd prows collect along the coast, 
And great the gathering crews, and loud the boast; 
Already shared the captives and the prize, 
Though tar the distant foe they thus despise ; 
'Vis but to sail — no doubt to-morrow's Sun 
Will see the Pirates bound — their haven won ! 
Meantime the watch may slumber, if they will, 
Nor only wake to war, but dreaming kill. 
Though fill, who can, disperse on shore and sock 
To flesh their glowing valour on the Greek ; 
IIow well such deed heroines the turban'd brave— 
To bare the sahre's edge before a slave ! 

Infest his dwelling — 1'Ut forbear to slay, 
Their anus are Btrong, yet merciful to-day, 
And do not deign to smite because they may ! 
Unless some gay eaprioe suggests the blow, 
To keep in practice for the coming foe. 
Revel and rout the evening hours beguile, 
And they who wish to wear a head must smile ; 
For Moslem mouths produce their choicest cheer, 
And hoard their curses, till the coast is clear. 

II. 

High in his hall reclines the turban'd Seyd ; 
Around — the bearded chiefs he came to lead. 
Removed the banquet* and the last pilaff — 
Forbidden draughts, 'tis said, he dared to quaff, 
Though to the rest the sober berry's juice,* 
The slaves bear round for riL r id Moslems' use ; 
The long chibouque's f dissolving cloud supply, 
While dance the Almas+ to wild minstrelsy. 
The rising morn will view the chiefs embark ; 
But waves are somewhat treacherous in the dark : 
And revellers may more securely sleep 
On silken couch than o'er the rugged deep, 
Feast there who can — nor combat till they must, 
And less to conquest than to Korans trust ; 
And yet the numbers crowded in his host 
Might warrant more than even the Pacha's boust. 

in. 
With cautious reverence from the outer gate, 
Slow stalks the slave, whose office there to wait, 
Bows his bent head — his hand salutes the floor, 
Ere yet his tongue the trusted tidings bore : 
"A captive Dervise, from the pirate's nest 
Escaped, is here — himself would tell the rest." § 

Coffee.— B. f Pipe — B. % Dancing girls.— A 

§ It has been objected, that Conrad's entering disguised as a spy is oat of nuture y— 
Terhaps so. I nnd waamaias not unlike it in history. 
" Auiiuiu to eTplcrU wlllkilis Qwn eyes the suite of the Vanda's, Idajonaii venuirwd. 



& 



•f 



THE CORSAIR. 



*<tv 



He took the sign from Seyd's assenting eye, 
And led the holy man in siloneo nigh. 
His arms were folded on his dark -green vest, 
His step was feeble, and his look depress'd ; 
Yet worn he seom'd of hardship more than years, 
And pale his cheek with penance, not from tears. 
Vow'd to his God — his sable locks ho wore, 
And thpse his lofty cap rose proudly o'er : 
Around his form his loose long robe was thrown, 
And wrapt a breast bestow'd on Heaven alone; 
Submissive, yet with self-possession mann'd, 
'ie calmly met the curious eyes that scann'd ; 
And question of his coming fain would seok, 
Before the Pacha's will allow'd to speak. 

IV. 

" Whence com'st thou, Dervise ?" 

" From the outlaw's den, 
" A fugitive—" 

" Thy capture where and when ? " 
" From Scalanova's port to Scio's isle, 
The Saick was bound ; but Alia did not smile 
Upon our course — the Moslem merchant's gains 
The Rovers won : our limbs have worn their chains. 
I had no death to fear, nor wealth to boast, 
Beyond the wandering freedom which I lost ; 
At length a fisher's humble boat by night 
Afforded hope, and offer'd chance of flight : 
I seized the hour, and find my safety here — 
With thee — most mighty Pacha ! who can fear ? " 

" How speed the outlaws? stand they well prepared 
Their plunder' d wealth, and robber's rock, to guard? 
Dream they of this our preparation, doom'd 
To view with fire their scorpion nest consumed ? " 

" Pacha ! the fetter' d captive's mourning eye, 

That weeps for flight, but ill can play the spy : 

I only heard the reckless waters roar, 

Those waves that would not bear me from the shore ; 

1 only mark'd the glorious sun and sky, 

Too bright — too blue — for my captivity ; 

And felt — that all which Freedom's bosom cheers, 

Must break my chain before it dried my tears. 

This mayst thou judge, at least, from my escape, 

They little deem of aught in peril's shape ; 

Else vainly had I pray'd or sought the chance 

That leads me here — if eyed with vigilance : 

The careless guard that did not see me fly, 

May watch as idly when thy power is nigh. 

after disguising the colour of his hair, to visit Carthage in the character of hli ow* 
Ambassador ; and Genseric was afterwards mortified by the discovery, that he had en- 
tertained and dismissed the emperor of the Romans. Such an anecdote may be reject*! 
fts an improbable fiction ; but it is a fiction which would not have been ia&asinsd aales 
tat th» lift of a haro."— Gibbon, Decline and Fall, voL vi. p. 18fc. 



-0- 



4- 



j ? 



228 B YRON 'S POEMS. 

Pacha ! — my limbs are faint — and nature cravs 
Food for my hunger, rest from tossing waves : 
Permit my absence — peace be with thee ! Peace 
"With all around ! — now grant repose — release." 
" Stay, Dervise ! I have more to question — stay, 
I do command thee — sit — dost hear? — obey ! 
More I must ask, and lood the slaves shall bring J 
Thou shalt not pine where all are banqueting : 
The supper done — prepare thee to reply, 
Clearly an^» lull — 1 love not mystery." 

'Twere vain to guess what shook the pious man, 
Who look'd not lovingly on that Divan ; 
Nor show'd high relish for the banquet press' d, 
And less respect for every fellow-guest. 
'Twas but a moment's peevish hectic pass'd 
Along his cheek, and tranquillized as fast : 
He sate him down in silence, and bis look 
Resumed the calmness which before torsook : 
The feast was usher'd in — but sumptuous tard 
He shunn'd as if some poison mingled there. 
For one so long condemn'd to toil and fast, 
Methinks he strangely spares the rich repast. 

"What ails thee, Dervise? eat — dost thou suppow 
This feast a Christian's ? or my friends thy foes ? 
Why dost thou shun the salt I that sacred pledge 
Which, once partaken, blunts the sabre's edge, 
Makes even contending tribes in peace unite, 
And hated hosts seem brethren to the sight ! " 
1 

" Salt seasons dainties — and my food is still 
The humblest root, my drink the simplest rill ; 
And my stem vow and order's* laws oppose 
To break or mingle bread with friends or foes ; 
It may seem strange — if there be aught to dread, 
That peril rests upon my single head ; 
But for thy sway — nay more — thy Sultan's thron*, 
I taste nor bread nor banqaet — save alone ; 
Infringed our order's rule, the Prophet's rage 
To Mecca's dome might bar my pilgrimage." 

"Well — as thou wilt — ascetic as thou art — 

One question answer ; then in peace depart. 

How many ? — Ha ! it cannot sure be day ? 

What star — what sun is bursting on the bay ? 

It shines a lake of fire ! — away — away ! 

Ho ! treachery ! my guards ! my scimitar ! 

The galleys feed the flames — and I afar ! 

Accursed Dervise ! — these thy tidings — thon 

Some villain spy — seize — cleave him — slay him cow 1 

Up rose the Dervise with that burst of light, 
Nor less his change of form appall'd the sight : 

* Tte« DarvlsM *r© in coUeget, rod «f different order? ; M the monk*.— A 



*T~ 



Ki 



+4* 



THE CORSAIR. 229 

Up rose that Derviso — not in saintly garb, 
But like a warrior bounding on bis barb, 
Dash'd his high oap, and tore hia robe away — 

Shone his niail'd breast, and flash'd his sahre's 1 ay I 

II is dose l>nt glittering casque, and sable plume, 
More glittering eve, and black brow's sabler gl< on;, 
Glared on the Moslems' eyea some a frit sprite, 
Whoso demon death-blow left ao hope for tight 

Thu wild confusion, and the swarthy glow 

Or flames on high and torches from below. 

The shriek of terror, and the mingling yell — 

For swords began to clash, and shouts to swell — 

Flung o'er that spot of earth the air of hell I 

Distracted, to and fro, the Hying slaves 

Behold but bloody shore and fiery waves ; 

Nought beeded they the Pacha's angry cry, 

They seize that Dervise ! — seize on Zatanai !* 

He saw their terror — check'd the first despair 

That urged him but to stand and perish there, 

Since far too early and too well obey'd, 

The flame was kindled ere the signal made : 

Ke saw their terror — from his baldric drew 

His bugle — brief the blast — but shrilly blew : 

'Tis answer' d — " Well ye speed, my gallant crew ! 

Why did I doubt their quickness of career ? 

And deem design hail left me single here?" 

Sweeps his long arm — that sabre's whirling sway 

Sheds fast atonement for its first delay ; 

Completes his fury what their fear begun, 

And makes the many basely quail to one. 

The cloven turbans o'er the chamber spread, 

And scarce an arm dare rise to guard its head ■ 

Even Seyd, convulsed, o'erwhelmed with rage, surprise, 

Retreats before him, though he still defies. 

No craven he — and yet he dreads the blow, 

So much confusion magnifies his foe ! 

His blazing galleys still distract his sight, 

He tore his beard, and foaming fled the fight ;f 

For now the pirates pass'd the Haram gate, 

And burst within — and it were death to wait ; 

Where wild Amazement shrieking — kneeling throws 

The sword aside — in vain — the blood o'erflows ! 

The Corsairs pouring, haste to where within, 

Invited Conrad's bugle, and the din 

Of groaning victims, and wild cries for life, 

Proclaim'd how well he did the work of strife. 

They shout to find him grim and lonely there, 

A glutted tiger mangling in his lair ! 

But short their greeting — shorter his reply — 

"'Tis well — but Seyd escapes — and he must die — 

• Batan— B. 
A cemmon and not very novel effect of Mussulman anger. See Prices Eugene's 
Memoirs, p. 24. " The Seraskier reoeived a wound in the thigh ; he pluckbd 15 nifi be&flf 
by the roots, because he was obliged to &«it the field."— £, 




w ; ;>. 



4 

230 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Mucn hath been done — but more remains to do — 
Their galleys blaze — why not their city too !" 

v. 

Quick at the word — they seized him each a torch, 

And fire the dome from minaret to porch. 

A stern delight was fix'd in Conrad's eyo, 

But sudden sunk — for on his ear the cry 

Of women struck, and like a deadly knell 

Knock'd at that heart unmoved by battle's yell. 

"Oh ! burst the Haram — wrong not on your li.os 

One female form — remember — ice have wives. 

On them such outrage Vengeance will repay ; 

Man is our foe, and such 'tis ours to slay ; 

Rut still we spared — must spare the weaker prey. 

Oh ! I forgot— but Heaven will not forgive 

If at my word the helpless cease to live : 

Follow who will — I go — we yet have time 

Our souls to lighten of at least a crime." 

lie climbs the crackling stair — he bursts the door, 

Nor feels his feet glow scorching with the floor ; 

His breath choked gasping with the volumed snioko, 

But still from room to room his way he broke. 

They search — they find — they save: with lusty arms 

Each bears a prize of unregarded charms ; 

Calm their loud fears ; sustain their sinking frames 

With all the care defenceless beauty claims : 

So well could Conrad tame their fiercest mood, 

And check the very hands with gore imbrued. 

But who is she ? whom Conrad's arms convey 

From reeking pile and combat's wreck — away — 

Who but the love of him he dooms to bleed ? 

The Haram queen — but still the slave of Seyd f 

VI. 

Brief time had Conrad now to greet Gulnare,* 

Few words to re-p.ssure the trembling fair ; 

For in that pause compassion snatch'd from war, 

The foe before retiring fast and far, 

With wonder saw their footsteps unpursued, 

First slowlier fled — then rallied — then withstood. 

This Seyd perceives — then first perceives how lev, 

Compared with his, the Corsair's roving crew, 

And blushes o'er his error, as he eyes 

The ruin wrought by panic and surprise. 

Alia il Alia ! Vengeance swells the cry — 

Shame mounts to rage that must atone or die ! 

And flame for flame and blood for blood must tell, 

The tide of triumph ebbs that flow'd too well — 

When wrath returns to renovated strife, 

And those who fought for conquest strike for life. 

Conrad beheld the danger — he beheld 

His followers faint by freshening foes repell'd : 



Ouhiarr.s fon&le nfttnej it mean* Ut&raily, the Sower of the pom^-rax^t*. — Ok 



A 



<&• 



THE CORSAIR. 231 

" One eflbrt — one — to break the circling host ! " 
They form — unite — charge— waver — all is lost! 
Within a narrower ring compress'd, boset, 
Hopeless, not heartless, strive and Btru fie yet — 
Ah ! now they fight in firmest file no more, 
Hemm'd in — cut off — cleft down — ami trampled o'erj 
But each Btrikea singly, silently, and homo, 
and sinks outwearied rather than o'eroome, 
His last faint quittanco rendering with his breath, 
Till the blade glimmers in the grasp of death ! 

VII. 

But first, ere came the rallying host to blows, 
And rank to rank, and hand to hand oppose, 
Gulnare and all her Ilaram handmaids heed, 
Safe in the dome of one who held their croed, 
By Conrad's mandate safely were bestow'd, 
And dried those tears for life and fame that flow'd : 
And when that dark -eyed lady, young Gulnare, 
Recall 'd those thoughts late wandering in despair, 
Much did she marvel o'er the courtesy 
That smooth'd his accents, sot'ten'd in his eye : 
'Twas strange — that robber thus with gore bedew'd 
Seem'd gentler then than Seyd in fondest mood. 
The Pacha woo'd as if he deem'd the slave 
Must seem delighted with the heart he <^ave ; 
The Corsair vow'd protection, soothed affright. 
As if his homage were a woman's right. 
" The wish is wrong — nay, worse for female — vain : 
Yet much I long to view that chief again ; 
If but to thank for, what my fear forgot, 
The life — my loving lord remember'd not ! " 

VIII. 

And him she saw, where thickest carnage spread, 

But gather'd breathing from the happier dead ; 

Far from his band, and battling with a host 

That deem right dearly won the field he lost, 

Fell'd — bleeding — baffled of the death he sought, 

And snatch'd to expiate all the ills he wrought ; 

Preserved to linger and to live in vain, 

While Vengeance ponder' d o'er new plans of pahi, 

And stanch'd the blood she saves to shed again — 

But drop by drop, for Seyd's unglutted eye 

Would doom him ever dying — ne'er to die ! 

Can this be he ? triumphant late she saw, 

When his red hand's wild gesture waved, a law ! 

'Tis he indeed — disarm'd, but undepress'd, 

His sole regret the life he still possess'd ; 

His wounds too slight, though taken with f hat will, 

Which would have kiss'd the hand that then could kilL 

Oh, were there none of all the many given, 

To send his soul — he scarcely ask'd to heaven ? 

Must he alone of all retain his breath, 

Who more than all had striven and struck for death 1 



j**' 



♦&■ 



4; 



232 ■ BYPON'S POEMS. 

He deeply felt — what mortal hearts must fee!, 

When thus reversed on faithless fortune's wheel, 

For crimes committed, and the victor's threat 

0. lingering tortures to repay the debt — 

He deeply, darkly felt ; but evil pride 

That led to perpetrate — now nerves to hide. 

Still in his stern and self-collected mien 

A conqueror's more than captive's air is seen, 

Though faint with wasting toil and stiffening wound, 

But few that saw — so calmly gazed around : 

Though the far shouting of the distant crowd, 

Their tremors o'er, rose insolently loud, 

The better warriors who beheld him near, 

Insulted not the foe who taught them fear ; 

And the grim guards that to his durance led, 

In silence eyed him with a secret dread. 

IX. 

The Leech was sent — but not in mercy — there, 

To note how much the life yet left could bear ; 

He found enough to load with heaviest chain, 

And promise feeling for the wrench of pain : 

To-morrow — yea — to-morrow's evening sun 

Will sinking see impalement's pangs begun. 

And rising with the wonted blush of morn 

Behold how well or ill those pangs are bome. 

Of torments this the longest and the worst, 

Which adds all other agony to thirst, 

That day by day death still forbears to slake, 

While famish'd vultures Hit around the stake. 

" Oh ! water — water !" — smiling Hate denies 

The victim's prayer — for if he drinks — he dies. 

This was his doom ; — the Leech, the truard, were gone 

And left proud Conrad fetter'd and alone. 



'Twere vain to paint to what his feelings grew — 
It even were doubtful if their victim knew. 
There is a war, a chaos of the mind, 
When all its elements convulsed — combined — 
Lie dark and jarring with perturbed force, 
And gnashing with impenitent Remorse ; 
That juggling fiend — who never spake before — 
But cries, " I warn'd thee ! " when the deed is cfdBk 
Vain voice ! the spirit burning but unbent, 
Hay writhe — rebel — the weak alone repent ! 
Even in that lonely hour when most it feels, 
And, to itself, all — all that self reveals, 
No single passion, and no ruling thought 
That leaves the rest as once unseen, unsought ; 
But the wild prospect when the soul reviews — 
All rushing through their thousand avenuet, 
Ambition's dreams expiring, love's regret, 
Endanger' d glory, liie itself beset ; 



4 



4 



4h 



THE CORSAIR. 233 

The joy untested, the contempi or hate 

'Gainst those who fain would triumph in our fate ; 

The hopeless past, the hasting future driven 

Too quickly on to guess if hell or heaven ; 

Deeds, thoughts, and words, perhaps remember'd ac* 

tfo keenly till that hour, but ne'er forgot ; 

Things light or lovely in their acted time, 

But now to stern reflection each a crime ; 

The withering sense of evil unreveal'd, 

Not cankering less because the more conceal'd-— 

All, in a word, from which all eyes must start, 

That opening sepulchre — the naked heart 

Bares with its buried woes, till Pride awake, 

To snatch the mirror from the soul — and break. 

Ay — Pride can veil, and Courage brave it all. 

All — all — before — beyond — the deadliest fall. 

Each hath some fear, and he who least betrays, 

The only hypocrite deserving praise : 

Not the loud recreant wretch who boasts and flies ; 

But he who looks on death — and silent dies. 

So steel'd by pondering o'er his far career, 

He half-way meets him, should he menace near ! 

XT. 

In the high chamber of his highest tower 

Sate Conrad, fetter'd in the Pacha's power. 

His palace perish'd in the flame — this fort 

Contain' d at once his captive and his court. 

Not much could Conrad of his sentence blame. 

His foe, if vanquish'd, had but shared the same : — 

Alone he sate in solitude, and scann'd 

His guilty bosom — but that breast he mann'd : 

One thought alone he could not — dared not meet— 

" Oh, how these tidings will Medora greet ? " 

Then — only then — his clanking hands he raised, 

And strain'd with rage the chain on which he gazod ; 

But soon he found — or feign' d — or dream'd relief, 

And smiled in self-derision of his grief, 

" And now come torture when it will — or may, 

More need of rest to nerve me for the day !" 

This said, with languor to his mat he crept, 

And, whatsoe'er his visions, quickly slept. 

'Twas hardly midnight when that fray begun, 

For Conrad's plans matured, at once were done: 

And Havoc loathes so much the waste of time, 

She scarce had left an uncommitted crime. 

One hour beheld him since the tide he stemm'd — 

Disguised — discover'd — conquering — ta'en — oondexna'd—' 

A chief on land — an outlaw on the deep — 

Destroying — saving — prison' d — and asleep ! 

xn. 

Es slept in calmest seeming — for his breath 
Wfcs hush'd so deep — Ah ! hnppy if 'n dejtth * 



* 



♦e- 



4 



234 



BYRON'S POEMS. 

He alept — Who o'er his placid slumber bends * 

His foes are gone — and here be hath no friende ; 

Is it some seraph sent to grant him grace ? 

No, 'tis an earthly form with heavenly face ! 

Its white arm raised a larup — yet gently hid, 

Lest the ray flash abruptly on the lid 

Of that closed eye, which opens but to pain, 

And once unclosed — but once may close again. 

That form, with eye so dark, and cheek so fair, 

And auburn waves of gemm'd and braided hair; 

With shape of fairy likeness — naked foot, 

That shines like snow, and falls on earth as mute — 

Through guards and dunnest night how came it there? 

Ah ! rather ask what will not woman dare? 

Whom youth and pity lead like thee, Gulnare ! 

She could not sleep — and while the Pacha's rest 

In muttering dreams yet saw his pirate-guest, 

She left his side — his si_rnet-rintr she bore, 

Which oft mi sport adorn'd her hand before — 

And with it, scarcely question'd, won her way 

Through drowsy Lruards that must that sign obey. 

Worn out with toil, and tired with changing blows, 

Their eyes had envied Conrad his repose; 

And chill and nodding at the turret door, 

They stretch their listless limbs, and watch no mo: 31 

Just raised their heads to hail the signet-ring, 

Nor ask or what or who the sign may brhig. 

XIII. 

She gazed in wonder, " Can he calmly sleep, 
While other eyes his fall or ravage weep i 
And mine in restlessness are wandering here — 
What sudden spell hath made this man so dear T 
True — 'tis to him my life, and more, I owe, 
And me and mine he spared from worse than woe; 
'Tis late to think — but soft — his slumber breaks — 
How heavily he sigha ! — he starts — awakes ! " 

Tie raised his head — and dazzled with the light, 
His eye seem'd dubious if it saw aright : 
He moved his hand — the grating of his chain 
Too harshly told him that he lived again. 
" What is that form ? if not a shape of air, 
Methinks, my jailer's face shows wondrous fair f w 

" Pirate ! thou know'st me not ; but I am one, 
Grateful for deeds thou hast too rarely done ; 
Look on me — and remember her, thy hand 
Snateh'd from the flames, and thy more fearful bai:d« 
I come through darkness — and I scarce know why- 
Yet not to hurt — I would not see thee die." 

•' If so, kind lady ! thine the only eye 

That would not here in that gay hope delieht : 

\?N»irs is the chance — and let them use their n^ho. 







■$■ 



THE CORSAIR. 235 

But still I thank their courtesy or thine, 
That would confess me at so fair a shrine ! " 

Strange though it seem — yet with extromest grief 

Is link'd a mirth — it doth not bring relief — 

That playfulness of sorrow ne'er beguiles, 

And smiles in bitterness — but still it smiles ; 

And sometimes with the wisest and the best, 

Till even the scaffold* echoes with their jest 1 

Yet not the joy to which it seems akin — 

It may deceive all hearts, save that within. 

Whate'er it was that flash'd on Conrad, n<"W 

A laughing wildness half unbent his brow : 

And these his accents had a sound of mirth, 

As if the last he could enjoy on earth ; 

Yet 'gainst his nature — for through that short life, 

Few thoughts had he to spare from gloom and strife. 

XIV. 

" Corsair t thy doom is named — but I have power 

To soothe the Pacha in his weaker hour. 

Thee would I spare — nay more — would save thee now, 

But this — time — hope — nor even thy strength allow ; 

But all I can, I will : at least, delay 

The sentence that remits thee scarce a day. 

More now were ruin — even thyself were loth 

The vain attempt should bring but doom to both." 

"Yes! — loth indeed : — my soul is nerved to all, 

Or fall'n too low to fear a further fall : 

Tempt not thyself with peril ; me with hope 

Of flight from foes with whom I could not cope : 

Unfit to vanquish — shall I meanly fly, 

The one of all my band that would not die? 

Yet there is one — to whom my memory clings, 

Till to these eyes her own wild softness springs. 

My sole resources in the path I trod 

Were these — my bark — my sword — my love — my God! 

The last I left in youth — He leaves me now — 

And Man but works His will to lay me low. 

I have no thought to mock His throne with prayer 

Wrung from the coward crouching of despair ; 

It is enough — I breathe — and I can bear. 

My sword is shaken from the worthless hand 

That might have better kept so true a brand ; 

My bark is sunk or captive — but my love — 

For her in sooth my voice would mount above : 

Oh ! she is all that still to earth can bind — 

And this will break a heart so more than kind, 

And blight a form — till thine appear' d, Gulnare! 

Mine eye ne'er ask'd if others were as fair." 

• In Sir Thomas More, for instance, on the scaffold, and Anne Boieyn, in the Towel, 
vcen, grasping her neck, she remarked, that it " was too slender to trouble the head»« 
tuan much." During one part of the French revolution, it became a fashion to leave 
■cine mot as a legacy ; and the quantity of facetious last words spoken during that 
psriod would form a melancholy jest-book of a considerable stcc. — i>. 



+<&* 



* 



4*- 



4h 



236 B YRON'S POEMS. 

" Thou lov'st another then ? — but what to ma 
Is this — 'tis nothing — nothing e'er can be : 
But yet — thou lov'st — and — Oh ! I envy tho?o 
Whose hearts on hearts as faithful can repose, 
Who never feel the void — the wandering thought 
That sia;hs o'er visions — such as mine hath wrought," 

" Lady — methought thy love was his, for whom 
This arm redeem'd thee from a fiery tomb." 

" My love stern Seyd's ! Oh — No — No — not my love — 

Yet much this heart, that strives no more, onco btrovc 

To meet his passion — but it would not be. 

I felt — I feel — love dwells with — with the free. 

I am a slave, a favour'd slave at best, 

To share his splendour, and seem very blest ! 

Oft must my soul the question undergo, 

Of — ' Dost thou love?' and burn to answer, 'N>!' 

Oh ! hard it is that fondness to sustain, 

And struggle not to feel averse in vain ; 

But harder still the heart's recoil to bear, 

And hide from one — perhaps another there. 

He takes the hand I give not — nor withhold — 

Its pulse nor check'd — nor quicken'd — calmly cold : 

And when resign'd, it drops a lifeless weight 

From one I never loved enough to hate. 

No warmth these lips return by his impress'd, 

And chill'd remembrance shudders o'er the rest. 

Yes — had I ever proved that passion's zeal, 

The change to hatred were at least to feel : 

But still — he goes unmourn'd — returns unsought — 

And oft when present — absent from my thought. 

Or when reflection comes, and come it must — 

I fear that henceforth 'twill but bring disgust ; 

I am his slave — but, in despite of pride, 

'Twere worse than bondage to become his bride. 

Oh ! that this dotage of his breast would cease ! 

Or seek another and give mine release, 

But yesterday — I could have said, to peace ! 

Yes — if unwonted fondness now I feign, 

Bemember — captive ! 'tis to break thy chain ; 

Bepay the life that to thy hand I owe; 

To give thee back to all endear'd below, 

Who share such love as I can never know. 

Farewell — morn breaks — and I must now away : 

'Twill cost me dear — but dread no death to-day !" 

IV. 

She press'd his fetter' d fingers to her heart, 

And bow'd her head, and turn'd her to depart, 

And noiseless as a lovely dream is gone. 

And was she here ? and is he now alone ? 

What gem hath dropp'd and sparkles o'er his chjiin? 

The tear most sacred, shed for others' pain. 



♦& 



<£. 



$* 



THE CORSAIR. 237 

That starts at once — bright — pure — from Pity's min^ 
Already polish'd by tho hand divine I 

Oh ! too convincing — dangerously dear — 
In woman's eye the unanswerable tear ! 
That weapon of her weakness she can wield, 
To save, subdue — at once her spear and shield : 
Avoid it — Virtue ebbs and Wisdom errs, 
Too fondly gazing on that grief of hers ! 
What lost a world, and bade a hero fly ? 
The timid tear in Cleopatra's eye. 
iet be the soft triumvir's fault forgiven ; 
By this — how many lose not earth — but heaven, f 
Consign their souls to man's eternal foe, 
And seal their own to spare some wanton's woe. 

XVI. 

'Tis morn — and o'er his alter'd features play 
The beams — without the hope of yesterday. 
What shall he be ere night ? perchance a thing 
O'er which the raven flaps her funeral wing : 
By his closed eye unheeded and unfelt, 
While sets that sun, and dews of evening melt, 
Chill — wet — and misty round each stiffeu'd limb, 
Refreshing earth — reviving all but him ! — 



CANTO THE THIRD. 

•• Come ve&l — aucor noii m' abbandona." — Dastb. 
I. 

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, 

Along Morea's hills the setting sun ; 

Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright, 

But one unclouded blaze of living light ! 

O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he thro-rT?^ 

Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows. 

On old ^Egma's rock, and Idra's isle, 

The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ; 

O'er his own regions lingering, loves to shine, 

Though there his altars are no more divine. 

Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss 

Thy glorious gulf, unconquer'd Salamis ! 

Their azure arches through the long expanse 

More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance, 

And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, 

Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaves J 

Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep, 

Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep. 

On such an eve, his palest beam he cast, 

When — Athens ! here thy Wisest look'd his last. 



■»il ^»^ ft> Uj » J W W^« » _Mr iM^«! ^m i Vi >* 




-(|h ^ 

238 BYAOATS rOEMS. 

How watcL'd thy better sons his farewell ray, 
That closed their murder'd sage's* latest dt»y \ 
Not yet — not yet— Sol pauses on the hill — 
The precious hour of parting lingers still ; 
But sad his light to agonizing eyes, 
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes? 
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour. 
The land, where Phoebus never frown'd before j 
B it ere he sank below Citbaeron's head, 
The cup of woe was quaflf'd — the spirit fled ; 
The soul of him who scorn'd to fear or fly — 
Who lived and died, as none can live or die I 

But lo ! from high Hymettus to the plain, 
The queen of night asserts her silent reign.+ 
No murky vapour, herald of the storm, 
Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form ; 
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play, 
There the white column greets her grateful ray, 
And, bright around with quivering beams beset, 
Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret : 
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide 
Where meek Cephisus pours his scanty title, 
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque, 
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk, + 
And, dun and sombre 'mid the holy calm, 
Near Theseus' fane yon solitary palm, 
All tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye — 
And dull were his that pass'd them heedless by. 

Again the ^Egean, heard no more afar, 
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war ; 
Again his waves in milder tints unfold 
Their long array of sapphire and of gold, 
Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle, 
That frown — where gentler ocean seems to smile. 3 

II. 

Not now my theme — why turn my thoughts to thee ? 
Oh ! who can look along thy native sea, 
Nor dwell upon thy name, whate'er the tale, 
So much its magic must o'er all prevail ? 
Who that beheld that Sun upon thee set, 
Fair Athens ! could thine evening face forget ? 
Not he — whose heart nor time nor distance froos, 
Spell-bound within the clustering Cyclades ! 

• Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), THH- 
withstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down. — B. 

f The twilight In Greece is much shorter lhau in our own country; the days in wintei 
are longer, but In summer of shorter duration. — B. 

1 The Kiosk is a Turkish summer-house : the palm Is without the present walls of 
Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall inter- 
Tenes. — Cephisus' stre.tiu ts indeed scanty, and llissus hits no stream at all. — B. 

S The opening lines, as far as section ii., have, perhaps, little business here, and were 
annexed to an unpublished (though printed) poem ; but they were written ou the spot in 
the spring of 1811, and, I scarce know why, the reader must excuse their appearauoo her* 

Lie can.— A 



!> 



e 



4 



7HE CORSAIR. 239 

Nor seems this homage foreign to his strain, 
His Corsair's isle was once thine own domain — 
Would that with freedom it were thine again \ 

hi. 
The Sun hath sunk — and, darker than the night, 
Sinks with its bean upon the beacon height — 
Medora's heart — the third day 's come and gone-- 
With it he comes not — sends not — faithless one ! 
The wind was fair though light, and storms were none, 
Last eve Anselmo's bark return'd, and yet 
His only tidings that they had not met ! 
Though wild, as now, far different were the tale, 
Had Conrad waited for that single sail. 

The night-breeze freshens — she that day had paa&'d 
In watching all that Hope proclaim'd a mast ; 
Sadly she sate — on high — Impatience bore 
At last her footsteps to the midnight shore, 
And there she wander'd, heedless of the spray 
That dash'd her garments oft, and warn'd away : 
She saw not — felt not this — nor dared depart, 
Nor deem'd it cold — her chill was at her heart ; 
Till grew such certainty from that suspense — 
His very Sight had shock'd from life or sense ! 

It came at last — a sad and shatter'd boat, 

Whose inmates first beheld whom first they sought ; 

Some bleeding — all most wretched — these the few — 

Scarce knew they how escaped — this all they knev?. 

In silence, darkling, each appear'd to wait 

His fellow's mournful guess at Conrad's fate : 

Something they would have said ; but seem'd to fear 

To trust their accents to Medora's ear. 

She saw at once, yet sank not — trembled not — 

Beneath that grief, that loneliness of lot, 

Within that meek fair form, were feelings high, 

That deem'd not till they found their energy. 

While yet was Hope — they soften'd — flutter' d — wept— 

All lost — that softness died not — but it slept ; 

And o'er its slumber rose that Strength which said, 

" With nothing left to love — there's nought to dread.* 1 

'Tis more than nature's ; like the burning might 

Delirium gathers from the fever's height. 

" Silent you stand — nor would I hear you tell 
What — speak not — breathe not — for I know it well — 
Yet would I ask — almost my lip denies 
The — quick your answer — tell me where he lies." 

" Lady ! we know not — scarce with life we fled ; 

But here is one denies that he is dead : 

He saw him bound ; and bleeding — but alive." 

bhe heard no further — 'twas in vain to strive— 



*Q)-! — H$ 

240 BYRON'S POEMS. 

So throbb'd each vein — each thought — till then withstood : 

Her own dark soul — these words at once subdued : 

She totters — falls — and senseless had the wave 

Perchance but snatch'd her from another grave ; 

But that with hands though rude, yet weeping eyee, 

They yield such aid as Pity's haste supplies : 

Dash o'er her death-like cheek the Ocean dew, 

Raise — fan — sustain — till life returns anew ; 

Awake her handmaids, with the matrons leave 

That fainting form o'er which they gaze and grieve ; 

Then seek Anselmo's cavern, to report 

The tale too tedious — when the triumph short. 

IV. 

In that wild council words wax'd warm and strange 
With thoughts of ransom, rescue, and revenge ; 
All, save repose or flight : still lingering there 
Breathed Conrad's spirit, and forbade despair ; 
Whate'er his fate — the breasts he form'd and led, 
Will save him living, or appease him dead. 
Woe to his foes ! there yet survive a few, 
Whose deeds are daring as their hearts are tn^c. 

v. 
Within the Haram's secret chamber sate 
Stern Seyd, still pondering o'er his Captive's fate; 
His thoughts on love and hate alternate dwell, 
Now with Gulnare, and now in Conrad's cell ; 
Here at his feet the lovely slave reclined 
Surveys his brow — would soothe his gloom of mh:r. y ; 
While many an anxious glance her large dark eye 
Sends in its idle search for sympathy. 
His only bends in seeming o'er his beads,* 
But inly views his victim as he bleeds. 
"Pacha ! the day is thine ; and on thy cre3t 
Sits triumph — Conrad taken — fall'n the rest ' 
His doom is fix'd — he dies ; and well his fate 
Was earn'd — yet much too worthless for thy havj ; 
Methinks, a short release for ransom told 
With all his treasure, not unwisely sold ; 
Report speaks largely of his pirate hoard — 
Would that of this my Pacha were the lord ! 
While baffled, weaken'd by this fatal fray — ■ 
Watch' d — follow'd — he were then an easier prey ; 
But once cut off — the remnant of his band 
Embark their wealth and seek a safer strand." 

" Grulnare ! if for each drop of blood a gem 

Were offer'd rich as Stamboul's diadem ; 

If for each hair of his a massy mine 

Of virgin ore should supplicating shine ; 

If all our Arab tales divulge or dream 

Of wealth were here — that gold should not redeem * 

* Vfc-i Couiboloio, or Mahometan rosary ; the beadi tre In tuuiber aiu'iy-mao.- -il 

4 



*:•>■ 



■ — ^^« 



J 



(-> 



77/Zi CORSAIR. 

it had not now redeem 'd a single hour, 
But. that I know him fetter 'd, in my power ; 
And, thirsting for revenge, I ponder still 
On pangs that longest rack, and latest kill. ' 

" Nay, Seyd ! — I seek not to restrain thy rage, 
Too justly moved for mercy to assuage ; 
My thoughts were only to secure for thee 
His riches — thus released, he were not free : 
Disablod, shorn of half his might and band, 
His capture could but wait thy first command." 

" His capture could / — and shall I then resign 
One day to him — the wretch already mine ? 
Release my foe ! — at whose remonstrance ? — thine I 
Fair suitor 1 — to thy virtuous gratitude, 
That thus repays this Giaour's relenting mood, 
Which thee and thine alone of all could spare, 
No doubt — regardless if the prize were fair, 
My thanks and praise alike are due — now hear ! 
I have a counsel for thy gentler ear : 
I do mistrust thee, woman ! and each word 
Of thine stamps truth on all Suspicion heard. 
Borne in his arms through fire from yon Serai — 
Say, wert thou lingering there with him to fly ? 
Thou need'st not answer — thy confession speaks, 
Already reddening on thy guilty cheeks ; 
Then, lovely dame, bethink thee ! and beware : 
'Tis not his life alone may claim such care ! 
Another word and — nay — I need no more. 
Accursed was the moment when he bore 
Thee from the flames, which better far — but — no — 
I then had mourn' d thee with a lover's woe — 
Now, 'tis thy lord that warns — deceitful thing ! 
Know^st thou that I can clip thy wanton wing ? 
In words alone I am not wont to chafe : 
Look to thyself — nor deem thy falsehood safe ! " 

He rose — and slowly, sternly thence withdrew, 
Rage in his eye and threats in his adieu : 
Ah ! little reck'd that chief of womanhood — 
Which frowns ne'er quell' d, nor menaces subdued ; 
And little deem'd he what thy heart, Gulnare ! 
When soft could feel, and when incensed could dare 
His doubts appear'd to wrong — nor yet she knew 
How deep the root from whence compassion grew-~ 
She was a slave — from such may captives claim 
A fellow-feeling, differing but in name ; 
Still half unconscious — heedless of his wrath, 
Again she ventured on the dangerous path, 
Again his rage repell'd— until arose 
That strife of thought — the source of woman's wooc I 
It 



t 






< 



242 B YR ON % S POEMS, 

VI. 

Meanwhile — long anxious — weary — still — the same 

Roll'd day and night — his soul could never tame — 

This iearfu-1 interval ol doubt and dread, 

When every hour might doom him worse than deculj 

When every step that echo'd by the gate 

Might entering lead where axe and stake await ; 

When every voice that grated on his ear 

Might be the last that he could ever hear ; 

Could terror tame — that spirit stern and high 

Had proved unwilling as unfit to die ; 

'Twas worn — perhaps decay'd — yet silent bore 

That conflict deadlier far than all before : 

The heat of fight, the hurry of the gale, 

Leave scarce one thought inert enough to quail ; 

15ut bound and fix'd in fetter'd solitude, 

To pine, the prey of every ehaDging mood ; 

To gaze <>n thine own heart ; and meditate 

Irrevocable faults, and coming fate — 

Too late the last to .slum — the first to mend — 

To count the hours that struggle to thine end, 

With not a friend to animate, and tell 

To other ears that death became thee well ; 

Around thee toes to forire the ready lie, 

And blot life's 1 e with calumny ; 

Before thee tortures, which the soul can dare. 

Yet doubts how well the shrinking flesh may bear ; 

But deeply feels a single cry would shame, 

To valour's praise thy last and dearest claim ; 

The life thou leav'st below, denied above 

By kind monopolists of heavenly love ; 

And more than doubtful paradise — thy heaven 

Of earthly hope — thy loved one from thee ri\ u. 

Such were the thoughts that outlaw must sustain, 

And govern panga surpassing mortal pain : 

And those SUStain'd he — boots it well or iV * 

Since not to sink beneath, is sometiung still I 

VII. 

Tho first day pass'd — he saw not her — Gulnare— 

The second — third — and still she came not there ; 

But what her words avouch'd, her charms had done; 

Or else he had not seen another sun. 

The fourth day roll'd along, and with the night 

Came storm and darkness in their mingling might: 

Oh ! how he listen'd to the rushing deep, 

That ne'^r till now so broke upon his sleep ; 

And his wild spirit wilder wishes sent, 

Roused by the roar of his own element ! 

Oft had he ridden on that winged wave, 

And loved its roughness for the speed it gave i 

And now its dashing echo'd on his ear, 

A long known voice — alas ! too vainly near I 



•?* 






& 



THE CORSAIR. 343 

Loud sung the wind above ; and, doubly loud, 
Shook o'er his turret cell the thunder-cloud ; 
And flash'd the lightning by the latticed bar, 
To him more genial than tho midnight star: 
Close to the glimmering grate he dragg'd his chain. 
And hoped that peril might not prove in vain. 
He raised his iron hand to heaven, and pray'd 
One pitying flash to mar tho form it made : 
His steel and impious prayer attract alike — 
The storm roll'd onward, and disdain'd to strike , 
Its peal wax'd fainter— ceased — he felt alone, 
As if some faithless friend had spurn'd his groan ! 

VIII. 

The midnight pass'd— «md to the massy door 
A light step came — it paused — it moved once more ; 
Slow turns the grating bolt and sullen key : 
'lis as his heart foreboded — that fair she ! 
Whate'er her sins, to him a guardian saint, 
And beauteous still as hermit's hope can paint ; 
Yet changed since last within that cell she came, 
More pale her cheek, more tremulous her lrame : 
On him she cast her dark and hurried eye, 
Which spoke before her accents — " Thou must die I 
Yes, thou must die — there is but one resource, 
The last — the worst — if torture were not worse." 

" Lady ! I look to none — my lips proclaim 
What last proclaim'd they — Conrad still the same . 
Why shouldst thou seek an outlaw's lite to spare, 
And change the sentence 1 deserve to bear ? 
Well have I earn'd — nor here alone — the meed 
Of Seyd's revenge, by many a lawless deed." 

" Why should I seek ? because — Oh ! didst thou not 
Redeem my life from worse than slavery's lot ? 
Why should I seek ? — hath misery made thee blind 
To the fond workings of a woman's mind? 
And must I say ? albeit my heart rebel 
With all that woman feels, but should not tell — 
Because — despite thy crimes — that heart is moved : 
It fear'd thee — thank'd thee — pitied — madden' d — loved 
Reply not, tell not now thy tale again, 
Thou lov'st another — and I love in vain ; 
Though fond as mine her bosom, form more Pair, 
I rush through peril which she would not dare. 
If that thy heart to hers were truly dear, 
Were I thine own — thou wort not lonely here : 
An outlaw's spouse — and leave her lord to roam ! 
What hath such gentle dame to do with home ? 
But speak not now— o'er thine and o'er my head 
Hangs the keen sabre by a single thread ; 
\i thou hast courage still, and wouldst be free, 
Receive this poniard-— rise — and follow me 1 " 
a 2 

* — >4> 



^ 



244 BYRON'S POEMS. 

"Ay — in my chains! my steps will gently tread, 
With these adornments, o'er each slumbering head ! 
Thou hast forgot — is this a garb for flight ? 
Or is that instrument more fit for fight ?" 

"Misdoubting Corsair ! I have gain'd the guard, 

Ripe for revolt, and greedy for reward. 

A single word of mine removes that chain : 

Without some aid how here could 1 remain? 

Well, since we met, hath sped my busy time, 

If in aught evil, for thy sake the crime : 

The crime — 'tis none to punish those of Seyd. 

That hated tyrant, Conrad — he must bleed ! 

I see thee shudder — but my soul is changed — 

Wrong'd, 6purn'd, reviled — and it shall be aveu_rec.- 

Accused of what till now my heart disdain'd — 

Too faithful, though to bitter bondage chain'd. 

Yes, smile ! — but he had little cause to sneer, 

I was not treacherous then — nor thou too dear ■ 

But he has said it — and the jealous well, 

Those tyrants, teasing, tempting to rebel, 

Deserve the fate their fretting lips foretell. 

I never lovtd — he bought me — somewhat high — 

Since with me came a heart he could not buy. 

I was a slave unmurmuring : he hath said, 

But for his rescue I with thee had fled. 

'Twas false thou know'st — but let such augurs rue, 

Their words are omens Insult renders true. 

Nor was thy respite granted to my prayer ; 

This fleeting grace was only to prepare 

New torments for thy life, and my despair. 

Mine too he threatens ; but his dotage still 

Would fain reserve me for his lordly will ; 

When wearier of these fleeting charms an<i me, 

There yawns the sack — and yonder rolls the sea. 

What, am I then a toy for dotard's play, 

To wear but till the gilding frets away 1 

I saw thee — loved thee — owe thee all — would save, 

If but to show how grateful is a slave. 

But had he not thus menaced fame and life 

iAnd well he keeps his oaths pronounced in strife), 
still had saved thee — but the Pacha spared. 
Now I am all thine own — for all prepared : 
Thou lovest me not — nor know'st — or but the worst. 
Alas ! this love — that hatred are the first — 
Oh ! couldst thou prove my truth, thou wouldst ncl start, 
Nor fear the fire that lights an Eastern heart ; 
'Tis now the beacon of thy safety — now 
It points within the port a Mainote prow : 
But in one chamber, where our path must lead, 
There sleeps — he must not wake — the oppressor Seyd ! " 

u Gulnare — Gulnare — I never felt till now 
\&y abject fortune, wither'd fame so low ; 



^ 



< 



<> 



THE CORSA A\ 245 

Soyd is mine enemy : had swept my bi\n<\ 

From earth with ruthless hut with open i. 

Ajad therefore came I, in my bark 01 war, 

To smite thesmiter with the scimitar ; 

Such is my weapon — not the secret knife — 

Who spares a woman's si eks not slumbor's life. 

Thine saved I gladly, Lady, not for this — 

Let me not deem that mercy shown amiss. 

Now fare thee well — more peace bo with thy breart 1 

Night wears apace — my last of earthly rest 1 " 

"Rest ! rest ! by sunrise must thy sinews shake. 

And thy limbs writhe around the ready stake. 

1 heard the order — saw — I will not see — 

If thou wilt perish, I will fall with thee. 

My life — my love — my hatred — all below 

Are on this cast — Corsair ! 'tis but a blow ! 

Without it flight were idle — how evade 

His sure pursuit ? my wrongs too unrepaid, 

My youth disgraced — the long, long wasted years, 

One blow shall cancel with our future fears ; 

But since the dagger suits thee less than brand, 

I'll try the firmness of a female hand. 

The guards are gain'd — one moment all were o'or — 

Corsair ! we meet in safety, or no more ; 

If errs my feeble hand, the morning cloud 

Will hover o'er thy scaffold and my shroud." 

IX. 

She turn'd, and vanish'd ere he could reply, 

But his glance follow'd far with eager eye ; 

And gathering, as he could, the links that bound 

His form, to curl their length, and curb their sound, 

Since V>ar and bolt no more his steps preclude, 

He, fast as fetter' d limbs allow, pursued. 

'Twas dark and winding, and he knew not where 

That passage led ; nor lamp nor guard were there ? 

He sees a dusky glimmering — shall he seek 

Or shun that ray so indistinct and weak ? 

Chance guides his steps — a freshness seems to bca? 

Full on his brow, as if from morning air — 

He reach'd an open gallery — on his eye 

Gleam'd the last star of night, the clearing sky : 

Yet scarcely heeded these — another light 

From a lone chamber struck upon his sight. 

Towards it he moved ; a scarcely closing door 

Reveal' d the ray within, but nothing more. 

With hasty step a figure outward pass'd, 

Then paused — and turn'd — and paused — 'tis she at \atdj I 

No poniard in that hand — nor sign of ill — 

" Thanks to that softening heart — she could not kill '* 

Again he look'd, the wildness of her eye 

Starts from the day abrupt and fearfully 



'^h ■ H 

24 f> BORON'S POEMS. 

She stopp'd — threw back her dark far-floating heir, 
That nearly veil'd her face and bosom fair, 
As ii she late had bent her leaning head 
Above some object of her doubt or dread. 
They meet — upon her brow — unknown — forgot — 
Her hurrying hand had left — 'twas but a spot — 
Its hue was all he saw, and scarce withstood — 
Oh ! slight but certain pledge of crime — 'tis blood ! 

X. 
He had seen battle — he had brooded lone 
O'er promised pangs to sentenced guilt foreshown ; 
He had been tempted — chasten'd — and the chain 
Yet on his arms might ever there remain : 
But ne'er from strile— captivity — remorse — 
From all his feeling in their inmost force — 
So thrill'd — so shudder'd every creeping vein, 
As now they froze before that purple stain. 
That spot of blood, that light but iruilty streak, 
Had banish'd all the beauty from her cheek ! 
Blood he had view'd — could view unmoved — but th>?r 
It flow'd in combat, or was shed by men ! 

XI. 
" 'Tis done — he nearly waked — but it is dona. 
Corsair! he perish'd — thou art dearly won. 
All words would now be vain — away — away ! 
Our bark is tossing — 'tis already day. 
The few gain'd over, now are wholly mine, 
And these thy yet surviving band shall join : 
Anon my voice shall vindicate my hand. 
When once our sail forsakes this hated strand." 

xn. 

She clapp'd her hands — and through the gallery pour, 

Equipp'd for flight, her vassals — Greek and Moor: 

Silent but quick they stoop, his chains unbind ; 

Once more his limbs are free as mountain wind ! 

But on his heavy heart such sadness sate, 

As if they there transferr'd that iron weight. 

No words are utter'd — at her sign, a door 

Reveals the secret passage to the shore ; 

The city lies behind — they speed, they reach 

The glad waves dancing on the yellow beach ; 

And Conrad following, at her beck, obey'd, 

Nor cared he now if rescued or betray'd ; 

Resistance was as useless as if Seyd 

Yet lived to view the doom his ire decreed. 

xni. 

Embark'd, the sail unfurl'd, the light breeze blew — 
Eow much h«d Conrad's memory to review ! 
Sunk he in Contemplation till the cape 
Where last he anchor' d rear'd its giant shape. 



♦O 






J> 



THE CORSAIR. i\i 

Ah ! — since that fatal night, though brief the tiino, 
Had swept an age of terror, grief, and crime. 
As its far shadow frown'd above the mast, 
He veil'd his face, and sorrow'd as ho pass'd ; 
Ue thought of all — Gonsalvo and his band, 
His Meeting triumph and his tailing hand ; 
rle thought on her afar, his lonely bride : 
He t'u-n'd and saw — Guluare, the homicide ! 

XIV. 

She watch'd his feahvres till she could not bear 
Their freezing aspect and averted air, 
And that strange fierceness, foreign to her eye, 
Fell quench'd in tears, too late to shed or dry. 
She knelt beside him, and his hand sho press'd, 
11 Thou mayst forgive though Alla's self detest ; 
But tor that deed of darkness what wert thou? 
Reproach me — but not yet — ! spare me now/ 
I am not what I seem — this tearful night 
My brain bewilder' d — do not madden quite ! 
If I had never loved — though less my guilt, 
Thou hadst not lived to — hate me — ii thou wilt.'* 



XV. 

She wrongs his thoughts, they more himself upbraid 

Than her, though undesign'd, the wretch he made ; 

But speechless all, deep, dark, and unexpress'd, 

They bleed within that silent cell — his breast. 

Still onward, fair the breeze, nor rough the surge, 

The blue waves s.port around the stern they urge j 

Far on the horizon's verge appears a speck, 

A spot — a mast — a sail — an armed deck ! 

Their little bark her men of watch descry, 

And ampler canvas woos the wind from high ; 

She bears her down majestically near, 

Speed on her prow, and terror in her tier ; 

A flash is seen — the ball beyond their bow 

ISooms harmless, hissing to the deep below. 

l/p rose keen Conrad from his silent trance, 

A long, long absent gladness in his glance ; 

" 'Tis mine — my blood-red flag ! again — again— 

I am not all deserted on the main !" 

They own the signal, answer to the hail, 

Hoist out the boat at once, and slacken sail. 

" 'Tis Conrad ! Conrad ! " shouting from the deck 3 

Command nor duty could their transport check ! 

With light alacrity and gaze of pride, 

They view him mount once more his vessel's side ; 

A smile relaxiag in each rugged face, 

Their arms can scarce forbear a rough embrace. 

He, half forgetting danger and defeat, 

Eeturns their greeting as a chief may greet, 



+*■■?*• 



4h -+{j)« 

248 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Wrings with a cordial grasp Anselmo's hand, 
And feels he yet can conquer and command I 

XVI. 

These greetings o'er, the feelings that o'erflow, 
Yet grieve to win him back without a blow ; 
They sail'd prepared for vengeance — had they known 
A woman's hand secured that deed her own, 
She were their queen — less scrupulous are they 
Than haughty Conrad how they win their way. 
With many an asking 6mile, and wondering stare, 
They whisper round, and gaze upon Gulnare ; 
And her, at once above — beneath her sex, 
Whom blood appall'd not, their regards perplex. 
To Conrad turns her faint imploring eye, 
She drops her veil, and stands in silence by ; 
Her arms are meekly folded on that breast, 
Which — Conrad safe — to fate resign'd the rest. 
Though worse than frenzy could that bosom fill, 
Extreme in love or hate, in good or ill, 
The worst of crimes had left her woman still ! 

xvn. 

This Conrad mark'd, and felt — ah ! could he less ? — 

Hate of that deed — but grief for her distress ; 

What she has done no tears can wash away, 

And Heaven must punish on its angry day : 

But — it was done : he knew, whate'er her guilt, 

For him that poniard smote, that blood was spilt ; 

And he was free ! — and she for him had given 

Her all on earth, and more than all in Heaven ! 

And now he turn'd him to that dark-eyed slave, 

Whose brow was bow'd beneath the glance he gave, 

Who now seem'd changed and humbled : — faint and meek. 

But varying oft the colour of her cheek 

To deeper shades of paleness — all its red, 

That fearful spot which stain'd it from the dead I 

He took that hand — it trembled— now too late — 

So soft in love — so wildly nerved in hate ; 

He clasp'd that hand — it trembled — and his own 

Had lost its firmness, and his voice its tone. 

''Gulnare ! " — but she replied not — " dear Gulnare !" 

She raised her eye — her only answer there — 

At once she sought and sunk in his embrace : 

If he had driven her from that resting-place, 

His had been more or less than mortal heart, 

But — good or ill — it bade her not depart. 

Perchance, but for the bodings of his breast, 

His latest virtue then had join'd the rest. 

Yet even Medora might forgive the kiss 

That ask'd from iorm so fair no more than this, 

!The first, the last that Frailty stole from Faith — 

To lips where love had lavish'd all his breath, 

■^ ■ *&> 



+& 



THE CORSAIR. 249 

To lips — whose broken sighs such fragranco fling 
As he had fann'd them freshly with his wing 1 

XVIII. 

They gain by twilight's hour their lonely isle. 

To them the very rocks appear to smile ; 

The haven hums with many a cheering sound, 

The beacons blaze their wonted stations round, 

The boats are darting o'er the curly bay, 

And sportive dolphins bend them through the spr&y ; 

Even the hoarse sea-bird's shrill, discordant shriek, 

Greets like the welcome of his tuneless beak ! 

Beneath each lamp that through its lattice gleams, 

Their fancy paints the friends that trim the beams. 

Oh ! what can sanctify the joys of home, 

Like Hope's gay glance from Ocean's troubled foam ? 



XIX. 

The lights are high on beacon and from bower, 

And 'midst them Conrad seeks Medora's tower : 

He looks in vain — 'tis strange — and all remark, 

Amid so many, hers alone is dark. 

'Tis strange — of yore its welcome never fail'd, 

Nor now, perchance, extinguish'd, only veil'd. 

With the first boat descends he to the shore, 

And looks impatient on the lingering oar. 

O ! for a wing beyond the falcon's flight, 

To bear him like an arrow to that height ! 

With the first pause the resting rowers gave, 

He waits not — looks not — leaps into the wave, 

Strives through the surge, bestrides the beach, and Ugh 

Ascends the path familiar to his eye. 

He reach'd his turret door — he paused — no sound 
Broke from within ; and all was night around. 
He knock'd, and loudly — footstep nor reply 
Announced that any heard or deem'd him nigh ; 
He knock'd — but faintly — for his trembling hand 
Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand. 
The portal opens — 'tis a well-known face — 
But not the form he panted to embrace. 
Its lips are silent — twice his own essay'd, 
And fail'd to frame the question they delay'd ; 
He snatch' d the lamp — its light will answer all—- 
It quits his grasp, expiring in the fall. 
He would not wait for that reviving ray, — 
As soon could he have linger'd there for day ; 
But, glimmering through the dusky corridor© 
Another chequers o'er the shadow'd floor ; 
His steps the chamber gain — his eyes behold 
AU that nis heart believed not — yet foretold r 



"riv - *" 



2t;o BYRON'S POEMS. 



xx. 

He turn'd not — spoke not — sunk not — fix'd his lock, 

And set the anxious frame that lately shook : 

He gazed — how long we gaze despite of pain, 

And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain 1 

In life itself she was so still and fair, 

That death with gentler aspect wither'd tnere ; 

And the cold flowers her colder hand contain' d,* 

In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd 

As if she scarcely felt, but feign' d a sleep, 

And made it almost mockery yet to weep : 

The long dark lashes fringed her lids of snow, 

And veil'd — thought shrinks from all that lurk'd bclflW — 

Oh ! o'er the eye death most exerts his might, 

And hurls the spirit from her throne of light ! 

Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse. 

But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips — 

Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile 

And wish'd repose — but only for a while ; 

But the white shroud, and each extended tresc, 

Long — fair — but spread in utter lilelessness, 

Which, late the sport of every summer wind, 

Escaped the baffled wreath that strove to bind ; 

These— and the pale pure cheek, became the bier, 

But she is nothing — wherefore is he here ? 

XXI. 

He ask'd no question — all were answer'd now 

By the first glance on that still — marble brow. 

It was enough — she died — what reck'd it how ? 

The love of youth, the hope of better years, 

The source of softest wishes, tenderest tears, 

The only living thing he could not hate, 

Was reft at once — and he deserved his fate, 

But did not feel it less ; — the good explore, 

For peace, those realms where guilt can never c\)r ; 

The proud — the wayward — who have fix'd below 

Their joy, and find this earth enough for woe, 

Lose in that one their all — perchance a mite — 

But who in patience parts with all delight ? 

Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern 

Mask hearts where grief hath little left to learn f 

And many a withering thought lies hid, not lost, 

In smiles that least befit who wear them most. 

XXTT. 

By those, that deepest feel, is ill express'd 
The indistinctness of the suffering breast ; 
Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one, 
Which seeks from all the refuge found in none J 

* In the Levant It Is the custom to strew flowers on the bodlts of tat ieoA, aaC '— Uw 
V»!i(li vi young persons to place a nosegay. — S. 



4* 



"Y 






THE CORSAIR. 251 

No words suffice tha secret soul to show, 
For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe. 
On Conrad's stricken soul exhaustion press'd, 
And stupor almost lull'd it into rest ; 
80 feeble now — his mother's softness crept 
To those wild eyes, which like an infant's wept : 
It was the very weakness of his brain, 
Which thus confess'd without relieving pain. 
None saw his trickling tears — perchance if seen, 
That useless flood of grief had never been : 
Nor long they flow'd — he dried them to depart, 
In helpless — hopeless — brokenness of heart : 
The sun goes forth — but Conrad's day is dim ; 
And the night cometh — ne'er to pass from him. 
There is no darkness like the cloud of mind, 
On Griefs vain eye — the blindest of the blind ! 
Which may not—dare not see — but turns aside 
To blackest shade — nor will endure a guide ! 

XXIII. 

His heart was form'd for softness — warp'd to wrong ; 
Betray'd too early, and beguiled too long ; 
Each feeling pure — as falls the dropping dew 
Within the grot ; like that had harden'd too ; 
Less clear, perchance, its earthly trials pass'd, 
But sunk, and chill'd, and petrified at last. 
Yet tempests wear, and lightning cleaves the rock j 
If such his heart, so shatter'd it the shock. 
There grew one flower beneath its rugged brow, 
Though dark the shade — it shelter' d — saved till now. 
The thunder came — that bolt hath blasted both, 
The Granite's firmness, and the Lily's growth : 
The gentle plant hath left no leaf to tell 
Its tale, but shrunk and withered where it fell ; 
And of its cold protector, blacken round 
But shiver* d fragments on the barren ground ! 

XXT7. 

'Tis morn — to venture on bis lonely liour 

Few dare ; though now .auseimo sought his tower. 

He was not there — nor seeu along the shore ; 

Ere night, alarm' d, their isle is traversed o'er : 

Another morn — anotner bids them seek, 

And shout his name till echo waxeth weak ; 

Mount — grotto — cavern — valley search'd in vala, 

They find on shore a sea-boat's broken chain ; 

Their hope revives — they follow o'er the main. 

'Tis idle all — moons roll on moons away, 

And Conrad comes not — came not since that day : 

Nor trace, nor tidings of his doom declare 

Where lives his grief, or perish'd his despair ! 

Long mourn'd his band whom none could mourn beri&e ; 

And fair the monument they gave his bride : 



■*+•» 



•$■ 



f 

252 BYRON 'S POEMS. 

For him they raise not the recording stone — 
His death yet dubious, deeds too widely kno&Ti ; 
He left a Corsair's name to other times, 
Link'd with one virtue, and a thousand crimes. 



WINDSOR POETICS. 

Lines composed on the occasion of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent 
being seen standing between the coffins of Henry VIII. and Charles I., 
in the royal vault at Windsor. 

Famed for contemptuous breach of sacred ties, 
By headless Charles see heartless Henry lies ; 
Between them stands another sceptred thing — 
It moves, it reigns — in all but name, a king : 
Charles to his people, Henry to his wife, 
— In him the double tyrant starts to life : 
Justice and death have mix'd their dust in vain, 
Each royal vampire wakes to life again. 
Ah, what can tombs avail ! — since these disgorge 
The blood and dust of both — to mould a George. 



4 



4- 



POEMS ON NAPOLEON. 



ODE TO NAPOLEON. 

" Erpende Annibalem : — quot Libras in duce summo 

In venies T" — J unknax, Sat. x. 

" The Emperor Nepot was acknowledged by the Senate, by the Italians, and by t'.x? 
S*rovincials of Gaul ; his moral virtues and military talents were loudly celebrated ; and 
those who derived any private benefit from his Government announced in prophetic 
strains the restoration of public felicity 

• ••„••• 
By this shameful abdication, he protracted his life a few years, in a very ajabignous staV% 
b/vtwssn an emperor and an exile, till ." — Gibbon's Decline and Fall, voL vL p. SSO. 

'TlS done — but yesterday a King ! 

And arm'd with Kings to strive — 
And now thou art a nameless thing ; 

So abject — yet alive ! 
Is this the man of thousand thrones, 
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones, 

And can he thus survive ? 
Since he, miscall' d the Morning Star, 
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far. 

Ill-minded man ! why scourge thy kind 

Who bow'd so low the knee ? 
By gazing on thyself grown blind, 

Thou taught'st the rest to see, 
With might unquestion'd — power to save t — 
Thine only gift hath been the grave, 

To those that worshipp'd thee ; 
Nor till thy fall could mortals guess 
Ambition's less than littleness I 

Thanks for that lesson — it will teach. 

To after warriors more, 
Than high Philosophy can preach, 

And vainly preach'd before. 
That spell upon the minds of men 
Breaks never to unite again, 

That led them to adore 
Those Pagod things of sabre sway, 
With fronts of brass, and feet of olay. 



fw 



254 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The triumph, and the vanity, 

The rapture of the strife* — 
The earthquake voice of Victory, 

To thee the breath of life ; 
The sword, the sceptre, and that sw?v 
Which man seem'd made but to obey 

Wherewith renown was rife — 
All quell'd ! — Dark Spirit, ! what must be- 
The madness of thy memory ! 

The Desolator desolate ! 

The Victor overthrown ! 
The arbiter of other's fate 

A suppliant for his own ! 
Is it some yet imperial hope, 
That with such change can calmly cope ? 

Or dread of death alone ? 
To die a prince — or live a slave — 
Thy choice is most ignobly brave ! 

He who of old would rend the oak,f 

Dream'd not of the rebound ; 
Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke — 

Alone — how look'd he round ? 
Thou, in the sternness of thy strength, 
An equal deed hast done at length, 

And darker fate hast found : 
He fell, the forest prowler's prey ; 
But thou must eat thy heart away ! 

The Roman, X when his burning heart 

Was slaked with blood of Rome, 
Threw down the dagger — dared depart, 

In savage grandeur, home — 
He dared depart in utter scorn 
Of men that such a yoke had borne, 

Yet left him such a doom ! 
His only glory was that hour 
* Of self-upheld abandon'd power. 

The Spaniard, § when the lust of sway 

Had lost its quickening spell, 
Cast crowns for rosaries away, 

An empire for a cell ; 
A strict accountant of his beads, 
A subtle disputant on creeds, 

His dotage trifled well : 
Yet better had he neither known 
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne. 

• "Cert&minls gamJLia"— the expression of Attll» In his harangue to fell army, j*W»«« 
I* tbe battle of r^ionsal, given In Cassiodorus. 
f ttLilo Crotouiensis, caught in the tree he had split. 
t Sylla. 
I Charges V. Byron forg«ts to tell u» how he conioled hlnuslf wiih good e» ia$. 



m 



4* 



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iJ* 



ODE TO NAPOLEON. 255 

But thou — from thy reluctant hand 

The thunderbolt is wrung — 
Too late thou leav'st the high command 

To which thy weakness clung ; 
All Evil Spirit as thcu art. 
It is enough to grieve the heart 

To see thine own unstrung ; 
To think that God's fair world hath beeL 
The footstool of a thing so mean ! 

And Earth hath spilt her blood for him, 

Who thus can hoard his own ! 
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb, 

And thank' d him for a throne ! 
Fair Freedom ! may we hold thee dear, 
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear 

In humblest guise have shown. 
Oh ! ne'er may tyrant leave behind 
A brf-jhter name to lure mankind 1 

Thine evil deeds are writ in gorOj 

Nor written thus in vain — 
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more, 

Or deepen every stain : 
If thou hadst died as honour dies, 
Some new Napoleon might arise, 

To shame the world again — 
But who would soar the solar height, 
To set in such a starless night ? 

Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust 

Is vile as vulgar clay ; 
Thy scales, Mortality ! are just 

To all that pass away : 
But yet methought the living great 
Some higher sparks should animate, 

To dazzle and dismay ; 
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth 
Of these the Conquerors of the earth. 

And she, proud Austria's mournful flower, 

Thy still imperial bride ; 
How bears her breast the torturing hour ? 

Still clings she to thy side ? 
Must she, too, bend, — must she, too, shore*, 
Thy late repentance, long despair, 

Thou throneless Homicide ? 
If still she loves thee, hoard that gem ; 
*Tis worth thy vanish' d diadem 1 

Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle, 

And gaze upon the sea ; 
That element may meet thy smile— 

ft ne'ei was ruled by thee 1 



O 



<•> 



256 BYR ON ' S POEMS. 

Or trace with thine all idle hand, 
In loitering mood upon the sand, 

That Earth is now as free ! 
That Corinth's pedagogue* hath now 
Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow. 

Thou Timour ! in his captive's cagef 1 ' — 
What thoughts will there be thine, 

While brooding in thy prison'd rage? 
But one — " The world was mine ! " 

Unless, like he of Babylon, 

All sense is with thy sceptre gone, 
Life will not long confine 

That spirit pour'd so widely forth — 

So long obey'd — so little worth ! 

Or, like the thief of fire from heaven, X 

Wilt thou withstand the shock ? 
And share with him, the unforgiven, 

His vulture and his rock ! 
Foredoom'd by God — by man accurst, 
And that last act; though not thy worti, 

The very Fiend's arch mock ; 
He, in his fall preserved his pride, 
And, if a mortal, had as proudly died I 

There was a day — there was an hour, 

While earth was Gaul's — Gaul's thino — 
When that immeasurable power, 

Unsated to resign, 
Had been an act of purer fame, 
Than gathers round Marengo's namo^ 

And gilded thy decline, 
Through the long twilight of all time, 
Despite some passing clouds of crime. 

But thou, forsooth, must be a king, 

And don the purple vest, 
A3 if that foolish robe could wring 

Remembrance from thy breast. 
Where is the faded garment ? where 
The gewgaws thou wert fond to wear, 

The star — the string — the crest ? 
Vain fro ward child of empire ! say, 
Are all thy playthings snatch'd away ? 

Where may the wearied eye repose, 

When gazing on the Great ; 
Where neither guilty glory glows, 

Nor despicable state ? 

• xMonyslui, tyrant of Sicily, who, after his fall, kept school at OtefJJlt 

IT&\jazet, confined in an iron cc#e by his conqueror lia, jar. 
Prometheus. 



•e 



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ODE FROM THE FRENCH. 257 

Yes — one — the first — the last — the besO — 
The Cincinnatus of the West, 
Whom envy dared not hate, 
Bequeath the name of Washington, 
To make man blush there was but one ) 



ODE FROM THE FRENCH. 

1. 

We do not curse thee, Waterloo ! 

Though Freedom's blood thy plain bedew \ 

There 'twas shed, but is not sunk — 

Rising from each gory trunk, 

Like the waterspout from ocean, 

With a strong and growing motion — 

It soars, and mingles in the air, 

With that of lost Labedoyere — 

With that of him whose honour* d grav*« 

Contains the " bravest of the brave." 

A crimson cloud it spreads and glows, 

But shall return to whence it rose ; 

When 'tis full, 'twill burst asunder — 

Never yet was heard such thunder, 

As then shall shake the world with wondw.* — 

Never yet was seen such lightning 

As o'er heaven shall then be bright'ning I 

Like the Wormwood Star foretold 

By the sainted Seer of old, 

Show'ring down a fiery flood, 

Turning rivers into blood.* 

II. 

The chief has fallen ! but not by you, 

Vanquishers of Waterloo ! 

When the soldier-citizen 

Sway'd not o'er his fellow-men — 

Save in deeds that led them on 

Where glory smiled on Freedom's son— 

Who, of all the despots banded, 

With that youthful chief competed ? 

Who could boast o'er France defeated, 
Till lone Tyranny commanded ? 
Till, goaded by ambition's sting, 
The Hero sunk into the King ? 
Then he fell : — so perish all, 
Who would men by man enthrall ! 

* Bee Rev. cbap. viii. v. 7, Ac. " The first angel sounded, and there followed fcr.iJ Add 
Ace mingled with blood," &c. v. 8. "And the second angel sounded, and as it were • 
£Ee*t mountain burning with fire was cast into tbe sea ; and tbe third part of the sea became 
blood," Ac. v. 10. " And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, 
burning as it were a lamp ; and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the 
fountains of waters." v. 11. " And the name of the star is called Wormwood ; and ti>e 
third part of the waters became wormwood ; and many men diud of kis water*, becMW« 
they were made bitter." 

S 

, 1 T- 



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258 BYRON'S POEMS. 



in. 

And thou, too, of the snow-wbite plumo \ 
Whose realm refused thee ev'n a tomb ; 
Better hadst thou sU*' been leading 
France o'er hosts of hirelings bleediiig, 
Than sold thyself to death and shame 
For a meanly royal name ; 
Such as he of Naples wears, 
Who thy blood-bought title bears ; 
Little didst thou deem when dashing 

On thy war-horse through the ranks 

Like a stream which bursts its banks, 
While helmets cleft, and sabres clashing;, 
Shone and shiver'd fast around thee — 
Of the fate at last which found thee I 
Was that haughty plume laid low 
By a slave's dishonest blow ? 
Once — as the moon sways o'er the tide, 
It roll'd in air, the warrior's guide ; 
Through the smoke-created night 
Of the black and sulphurous fight, 
The soldier raised his seeking eye, 
To catch that crest's ascendancy — 
And as it onward rolling rose, 
So moved his heart upon our foes. 
There, where death's brief pang was quiok&St; 
And the battle's wreck lay thickest, 
Strew'd beneath the advancing banner 

Of the eagle's burning crest — 
(There with thunder-clouds to fan her, 
Wko could then her wing arrest — 

Victory beaming from her breast ?) 
While the broken line enlarging 

Fell, or fled along the plain ; 
There be sure was Murat charging ! 

There he ne'er shall charge again I 

IV. 

O'er glories gone the invaders march, 
Weep Triumph o'er each levell'd arch — 
But let Freedom rejoico, 
With her heart in her voice ; 
But her hand on her sword, 
Doubly shall she be adored ; 
France hath twice too well been taught 
The " moral lesson " dearly bought — 
Her safety sits not on a throne 
W T ith Capet or Napoleon ! 
But in equal rights and laws, 
Hearts and hands in one great cause- 
Freedom, such as God hath giveu 
Unto all beneath Ris heaven* 



*^~ 



— f 



<?> 



TO NAPOLEON. 259 

With their breath, and from their birth, 
Though Guilt would sweep it from the earth ; 
With a fierce and lavish hand, 
Scattering nations' wealth like sand ; 
Pouring nations' blood like water, 
In imperial seas of slaughter I 

V. 

But the heart and the mind, 
And the voice of mankind, 
Shall arise in communion — 
And who shall resist that proud union ? 
The time is past when swords subdued' — > 
Man may die — the soul 's renew'd : 
Even in this low world of care 
Freedom ne'er shall want an heir ; 
Millions breathe but to inherit 
Her for ever bounding spirit — 
When once more her hosts assemble, 
Tyrants shall believe and tremble- 
Smile they at this idle threat ? 
Crimson tears will follow yet- 



TO NAPOLEON. 

FROM THE FRENCH. 

Must thou go, my glorious chief,* 

Sever'd from thy faithful few? 
Who can tell thy warriors' grief, 

Maddening o'er that long adieu ? 
Woman's love, and friendship's zeal, 

Dear as both have been to me — 
What are they to all I feel, 

With a soldier's faith for thee ! 

Idol of the soldier's soul ! 

First in fight, but mightiest now : 
lany could a world control ; 

Thee alone no doom can bow. 
By thy side for years I dared 

Death ; and envied those who fell, 
When their dying shout was heard, 

Blessing him they served so well.+ 

- " *ttr vept, but particularly Savary, and a Polish officer who had been exal ted frotn the 
ranis by Buonaparte. lie clung to his master's knees ; wrote a letter to Lord Keith, 
entreating permission to accompany him, even in the moat menial capacity ; which could 
not be admitted." 

t " At Waterloo, one man was seen, whose left arm was shattered by a cannon-ball, te 
wreneh it otf with the other, and throwing it up in the air, exclaimed to his comrades, 
'Vive l'Bmpereur, jusqu'a la mort !' There were many other instances of the like : l&ls. 
towe"»w, you may depend on as true."— Private Letter from Brutiels. 

8 2 



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* 



26o B YRON 'S POEMS. 

Would that I were cold with those. 

Since this hour I live to see ; 
When the doubts of coward foes 

Scarce dare trust a man with the©; 
Dreading eaoh should set thee free ; 

Oh ! although in dungeons pent, 
All their chains were light to me, 

Gazing on thy soul unbent. 

Would the sycophants of him 

Now so deaf to duty's prayer, 
Were his borrow' d glories dim, 

In his native darkness share ? 
Were that world this hour his own, 

All thou calmly dost resign, 
Could he purchase with that throne 

Hearts like those which still are thine \ 

My chief, my king, my friend, adieu ! 

Never did I droop before ; 
Never to my sovereign sue, 

As his foes I now implore : 
All I ask is to divide 

Every peril he must brave : 
Sharing by the hero's side 

His fall, his exile, and his grave. 



NAPOLEON'S FAREWELL, 

PROM THE FRENCH. 

Farewell to the land, where the gloom of my glovy 

Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her name — 

She abandons me now — but the page of her story, 

The brightest or blackest, is fill'd with my fame. 

I have warr'd with a world which vanquish'd me only 

When the meteor of conquest allured me too far ; 

I have coped with the nations which dread me thus lonely. 

The last single Captive to millions in war. 

Farewell to thee, France ! when thy diadem crown' d ra?, 

I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth, — 

But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee, 

Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth. 

Oh ! for the veteran hearts that were wasted 

In strife with the storm, when their battles were won — 

Then the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted,* 

Had still soar'd with eyes fix'd on victory's sun ! 

Farewell to thee, France ! — but when Liberty rallies 
Once morw in thy regions, remember me then — 
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys; 
Though withe r'd, thy tears will unfold it again-- 



4* 



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"THE LEGION 01 HONOUR." 261 

Vet, yet I may baffle the hosts that surround us, 

And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice — 

1*uere are links which must break in the chain that has bound ua, 

Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice 1 



01' THE STAR OF "THE LEGION OF HONOUR," 

FROM THE FRENCH. 

Star of the brave !— whose beam hath shed 

Such glory o'er the quick and dead — 

Thou radiant and adored deceit ! 

Which millions rush'd in arms to greet, — 

Wild meteor of immortal birth ! 

Why rise in Heaven to set on Earth ! 

Souls of slain heroes form'd thy rays ; 
Eternity flash'd through thy blaze ; 
The music of thy martial sphere 
Was fame on hii>h and honour here ; 
And thy light broke on human eyes, 
Like a volcano of the skies. 

Like lava roll'd thy stream of blood, 
And swept down empires with its flood 5 
Earth rock'd beneath thee to her base, 
As thou didst lighten through all space } 
And the shorn Sun grew dim in air, 
And set while thou wert dwelling there. 

Before thee rose, and with thee grew, 

A rainbow of the loveliest hue, 

Of three bright colours, each divine,* 

And fit for that celestial sign ; 

For Freedom's hand had blended them, 

Like tints in an immortal gem. 

One tint was of the sunbeam's dyes ; 
One, the blue depth of Seraph's eyes : 
One, the pure Spirit's veil of white 
Had robed in radiance of its light *. 
The three so mingled did beseem 
The texture of a heavenly dream. 

Star of the brave ! thy ray is pale, 
And darkness must again prevail ! 
But, oh thou Rainbow of the free ! 
Our tears and blood must flow for th£& 
When thy bright promise fades away, 
Our life ig but a load of clay. 

• Tha tricolour. 



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♦4- 



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262 BfAON'S POEMS. 

And Freedom hallows with her tread 
The silent cities of the dead ; 
For beautiful in death are they 
Who proudly fall in her array ; 
And soon, oh Goddess ! may we be 
For evermore with them or thee ! 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 

C SPEAK not, I trace not, T breathe not thy name ; 
There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame : 
But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart 
The deep thought* that dwell in that silence of heart. 

Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace, 
Were those hours — can their joy or their bitterness ceaae' 
We repent — we abjure — we shall break from our chain — 
We will part — we will fly to — unite it again ! 

Oh ! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt ! 
Forgive me, adored one ! — forsake, if thou wilt ; 
But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased, 
And man shall not break it— whatever thou mayst. 

And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee, 

This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be ; 

And our days seem as swift, and our movements more sweet, 

With thee by my side, than with worlds at my feet. 

One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love, 
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove ; 
And the heatless may wonder at all I resign — 
Thy lip shall reply, not to them, but to mine. 



^ 



FILL THE GOBLET AGAIN. 

A. SONG. 

Ftix the goblet again ! for I never before 

Felt the glow which now gladdens my heart to its core ; 

Let us drink ! — who would not ? — since through life's variod 

round, 
In the goblet alone no deception is found. 

I have tried in its turn all that life can supply : 

I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye ; 

I have loved ! — who has not ? — but what heart can declare 

That pleasure existed while passion was there ? 



-O 



4- 



A DDK ESS. 263 

In the days of my youth, when the heart 'a in its spring, 
And dreams that affection can never take wing, 
I had friends ! — who has not ? — but what tongue will avow 
That friends, rosy wine ! are so faithful as thou J 

The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange, 
Friendship shifts with the sunbeam — thou never canst chaiigc- . 
Thou grow'st old — who does not ? — but on earth what appears, 
Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its year* 

Yet if blest to the utmost that love can bestow, 
Should a rival bow down tc our idol below, 
We are jealous ! — who's not ? — tlrju hast no such aUoy ; 
for the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy. 

Then the season of youth and its vanities past, 
For refuge we fly to the goblet at last ; 
There we find — do we not ? — in the flow of the soul, 
That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl. 

When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth, 
And Misery's triumph commenced over Mirth, 
Hope was left, — was she not \ — but the goblet we kia6, 
And care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss. 

Long life to the grape ! for when summer is flown. 
The age of our nectar shall gladden our own : 
We must die — who shall not? — May our sins be forgiven, 
And Hebe shall never be idle in heaven. 



ADDRESS 

INTENDED TO HATE BEEN SPOKEN AT THE CALEDONIA! 

MEETING, 1814. 

Who hath not glow'd ahovA the mere where fame 
Hath fix'd high Caledon s unconquer'd name ; 
The mountain land which sporn'd the Roman chain, 
And baffled back the fiery-crusted Dane ; 
Whose bright claymore and narciinood of hand, 
No foe could tame — no tyrant could command ! 
That race is gone— but still their children breathe, 
And glory crowns them with redoubled wreath : 
O'er Gael and Saxon mingling banners shine, 
And, England ! add their stubborn strength to thine. 
The blood which fiow'd with Wallace flows as free, 
But now 'tis only shed for fame and thee ! 
Oh ! pass not by the northern veteran's claim, 
But give support — the world hath given him fame \ 

The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who bled 

While cheerly following where the mighty led' — ■ 
Who sleep beneath tne undistinguish'd sod, 
Where happier comrades in their triumph trou*, 



4- 



4> 



264 B J RON'S POEMS. 

To us bequeath — 'tis all their fate allows — 
The sireless offspring and the lonely spouw ; 
She on high Albyn's dusky hills may raise 
The tearful eye in melancholy gaze ; 
Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose, 
The Highland seer's anticipated woes, 
The bleeding phantom of each martial fonr, 
Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm ; 
While sad she chants the solitary song, 
The soft lament for him who tarries long — 
Fur him, whose distant relics vainly crave 
The cronach's wild requiem to the brave ! 

'Tis Heaven — not man — must charm away the uofy 

Which bursts when Nature's feelings newly Acre/ ; 

Yet tenderness and time may rob the tear 

Of half its bitterness, for one so dear ; 

A nation's gratitude perchance may spread 

A thornless pillow for the widow's head ; 

May lighten well her heart's maternal c&rt, 

And wean from penury the soldier's heir. 



<r 



& 



LARA.* 



CANTO THE FIRST. 

L 

The serfs are glad through Lara's wide domftui/f* 

And Slavery half forgets her feudal chain ; 

He, their unhoped, but unforgotten lord — 

The long self-exiled chieftain is restored : 

There be bright faces in the busy hall, 

Bowls on the board, and banners on the wall ; 

Far chequering o'er the pictured window, playe 

The unwonted fagots' hospitable blaze ; 

And gay retainers gather round the hearth, 

With tongues all loudness, and with eyes all mirth. 

n. 

The chief of Lara is return'd again : 
And why had Lara cross'd the bounding main ? 
Left by his sire, too young such loss to know, 
Lord of himself ; — that heritage of woe, 
That fearful empire which the human breast 
But holds to rob the heart within of rest ! — 
With none to check, and few to point in time 
The thousand paths that slope the way to crime ; 
Then, when he most required commandment, then 
Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men. 
It skills not, boots not, step by step to trace 
His youth through all the mazes of its race ; 
Short was the course his restlessness had run, 
But long enough to leave him half undone. 

III. 

And Lara left in youth his father-land ; 
But from the hour he waved his parting hand 
9ach trace wax'd fainter of his course, till all 
Had nearly ceased his memory to recall. 
His sire was dust, his vassals could declare — 
'Twas all they knew, that Lara was not there ; 

• This tale is evidently a continuation of the " Corsair," not too much being left for the 
{imagination of any reader to follow the events and mark the coincidence of characters. 

t The reader is apprised that the name of Lara being Spanish, and no circumstance oJ 
local or national description fixing the scene or hero of tne poem to any country or ags, 
the word " Serf," which could not be correctly applied to the lower classes ir Spain, wha 
Vere never vassal* of the soil, has, nevertheless, been employed to designate the followers 
of cor flctltip-»» ohieftatn. He is meant for noble of the Mere?.. — J9 



^p" ^ 

266 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Nor sent, nor came he, till conjecture gnaw 
Cold in the many, anxious in the few. 
His hall scarce echoes with his wonted name, 
His portrait darkens in its fading frame, 
Another chief consoled his destined bride, 
The young forgot him, and the old had died ; 
"Yet doth he live !"' exclaims the impatient hair, 
And sighs for sables which he must not wear. 
A hundred scutcheons deck with gloomy grace 
The Laras' last and longest dwelling-place ; 
But one is absent from the mouldering file, 
That now were welcome in that Gothic pile. 

IV. 

He comes at last in sudden loneliness, 

And whence they know not, why they need not guosr. ; 

They more might marvel, when the greeting 's o'er, 

Not that he came, but came not long before : 

No train is his beyond a single page, 

Of foreign aspect, and of tender age. 

Years had roll'd on, and fast they sped away 

To those that wander as to those that stay ; 

But lack of tidings from another clime 

Had lent a flagging wing to weary Time. 

They see, they recognize, yet almost deem 

The present dubious, or the past a dream. 

He lives, nor yet is past his manhood's prime, 
Though sear'd by toil, and something touch'd by time ; 
His faults, whate'er they were, if scarce forgot, 
Might be untaught him by his varied lot ; 
Nor good nor ill of late were known, his name 
Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame. 
His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins 
No more than pleasure from the stripling wins ; 
And such, if not yet harden 'd in their course, 
Might be redeem'd, nor ask a long remorse. 

v. 

And they indeed were changed — 'tis quickly seeD, 
Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been : 
That brow in furrow' d lines had fix'd at last, 
And spake of passions, but of passion past ; 
The pride, but not the fire, of early days, 
Coldness of mien, and carolessness of praise ; 
A high demeanour, and a glance that took 
Their thoughts from others by a single look ; 
And that sarcastic levity of tongue, 
n «'he stinging of a heart the world hath stung, 
That darts in seeming playfulness around, 
And makes those feel that will not own the wound , 
All these seeni'd his, and something more beneath 
Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe. 



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4 



ZAA'A. 267 

A mbition, giory, love, the common aim 
That some can conquer, and that all would claim, 
Within his breast appear'd no more to strive, 
Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive ; 
And some deep feeling it were vain to traoe 
At moments lighten 'd o'er his livid face. 

VL 

Not much he loved long question of the past, 
Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast,* 
In those far lands where he had wander'd lono, 
And — as himself would have it seem — unkuowTi • 
Yet these in vain his eye could scarcely scan, 
Nor glean experience from his fellow-man ; 
But what he had beheld he shunn'd to show, 
As hardly worth a stranger's care to know ; 
If still more prying such inquiry grew, 
His brow fell darker, and his words more few. 

VII. 
Not unrejoiced to see him once again, 
Warm was his welcome to the haunts of men ; 
Born of high lineage, link'd in high command. 
He mingled with the magnates of his land ; 
Join'd the carousals of the great and gay, 
And saw them smile or sigh their hours away ; 
But still he only saw, and did not share 
The common pleasure or the general care ; 
He did not follow what they all pursued, 
With hope still baffled, still to be renew'd ; 
Nor shadowy honour, nor substantial gain, 
Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain : 
Around him some mysterious circle thrown 
Repell'd approach, and show'd him still alone ; 
Upon his eye sate something of reproof, 
That kept at least frivolity aloof ; 
And things more timid that beheld him near, 
In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear ; 
And they the wiser, friendlier few confess'd 
They deem'd him better than his air express' d. 

vnr. 
'Twas strange — in youth all action and all lifep 
Burning for pleasure, not averse from strife ; 
Woman — the field — the ocean — all that gave 
Promise of gladness, peril of a grave, 
In turn he tried — he ransack'd all below, 
And found his recompense in joy or woe, 
No tame, trite medium ; for his feelings sought 
In that intenseness an escape from thought : 
The tempest of his heart in scorn had gazed 
On that the feebler elements hath raised ; 

* See Othello. Byron affected not to he an admirer of Shakespeare, tut 5.9 aftan \&» 
bcih \lU Ideas and his phraseology. 



<) 



263 B YR ON'S POEMS. 

The rapture of his heart had look'd on high, 
And ask'd if greater dwelt beyond the sky : 
Chain'd to excess, the slave of each extreme, 
How woke he from the wildness of that dream ? 
Alas ! he told not — but he did awake 
To curse the wither' d heart that would not break. 

DC. 

Books, for his volume heretofore was Man, 

With eye more curious he appear'd to scan, 

And oft, in sudden mood, for many a day 

From all communion he would start away : 

And then, his rarely-call'd attendants said, 

Through night's long hours would sound his hurried trea.d 

O'er the dark gallery, where his fathers frown'd 

In rude but antique portraiture around. 

They heard, but whisper' d — " that must not be knovm — 

The sound of words less earthly than his own. 

Yes, they who chose might smile, but some had seen 

They scarce knew what, but more than should have beoiv 

Why gazed he so upon the ghastly head 

Which hands profane had gather' d from the deed, 

That still beside his open'd volume lay, 

As if to startle all save him away ? 

Why slept he not when others were at rest ? 

Why heard no music, and received no guest ? 

All was not well, they deem'd — but where the wrong? 

Some knew, perchance — but 'twere a tale too long ; 

And such, besides, were too discreetly wise, 

To more than hint their knowledge in surmise ; 

But if they would — they could " — around the board, 

Thus Lara's vassals prattled of their lord. 

X. 

It was the night — and Lara's glassy eiream 

The stars are studdiug, each with imaged beam ; 

So calm, the waters scarcely seem to stray, 

And yet they glide like happiness away ; 

Reflecting far and fairy-like from high 

The immortal lights that live along the sky : 

Its banks are fringed with many a goodly tree, 

And flowers the fairest that may feast the bee ; 

Such in her chaplet infant Dian wove, 

And Innocence would offer to her love. 

These deck the shore ; the waves their channel Cicke 

In windings bright and mazy like the snake. 

All was so still, so soft in earth and air, 

You scarce would start to meet a spirit there : 

Secure that nought of evil could delight 

To walk in such a scene, on such a night ! 

It was a moment only for the good : 

So Lara deem'd, nor longer there he stood. 

But turn'd in silence to his castle gate ; 

Such scene his soul no more could contemplate J 



¥ 



4- 



*&♦ 



LARA. 269 

.Such scene reminded him of other days, 

Of skies more cloudless, moons of purer blaze, 

Of nights more soft and frequent, hearts that uow--» 

No — no — the storm may beat upon his brow, 

Unfelt — unsparing — but a night like this, 

A night of beauty mock'd such breast as hiK. 

XI. 

He turn'd within his solitary hall, 
And his high shadow shot along the wall ; 
There were the painted forms of other times, 
'Twas all they left of virtues or of crimes, 
Save vague tradition ; and the gloomy vaults 
That hid their dust, their foibles, and their faults ,' 
And half a column of the pompous page, 
That speeds the specious tale from age to age ; 
Where history's pen its praise or blame supplies, 
And lies like truth, and 6till more truly lies. 
He wandering mused, and as the moonbeam shoos 
Through the dim lattice o'er the floor of stone, 
And the high fretted roof, and saints, that there 
O'er Gothic windows knelt in pictured prayer, 
Reflected in fantastic figures grew, 
Like life, but not like mortal life to view ; 
His bristling locks of sable, brow of gloom, 
And the wide waving of his shaken plume, 
Glanced like a spectre's attributes, and gave 
His aspect all that terror gives the grave. 

XII. 

'Twas midnight — all was slumber ; the lone light 
Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the night. 
Hark ! there be murmurs heard in Lara's hall — 
A. sound — a voice — a shriek — a fearful call ! 
A. long, loud shriek — and silence — did they hear 
That frantic echo burst the sleeping ear ? 
They heard and rose, and tremulously brave, 
Rush'd where the sound invoked their aid to savt $ 
They come with half-lit tapers in their hands, 
And snatch'd in startled haste unbelted brands. 

sni. 
Cold as the marble where his length was laid, 
Pale as the beam that o'er his features play'd, 
Was Lara stretch'd ; his half-drawn sabre near, 
Dropp'd it should seem in more than nature's ieir ; 
Yet he was firm, or had been firm till now, 
And still defiance knit his gather'd brow ; 
Though mix'd with terror senseless as he lay, 
There lived upon his lip the wish to slay ; 
Some half-form'd threat in utterance there had dled^ 
Some imprecation of despairing pride , 
His eye was almost seal'd, but not forsook, 
Svaa in its trance the gladiator's look, 



■ih 



4- 

270 BYRON'S FOEMS. 



A\ 



That oft awake his aspect could disclose, 

And now was fix'd in horrible repose. 

Thev raise him, bear him : — hush ! he breathes, he spea.k£ ; 

The swarthy blush recolours in his cheeks, 

His lip resumes its red, his eye, though dim, 

Rolls wide and wild, each slowly quivering limb 

Recalls its function, but his words are strung 

In terms that seem not of his native tongue ; 

Distinct but strange, enough they understand 

To deem them accents of another land ; 

And such they were, and meant to meet an ear 

That hears him not— alas ! that cannot hear ! 

XIV. 

His page approach'd, and he alone appear'd 

To know the import of the words they heard ; 

And by the changes of his cheek and brow 

They were not such as Lara should avow, 

Nor he interpret ; yet with less surprise 

Than those around their chieftain's state he eyes ; 

But Lara's prostrate form he bent beside, 

And in that tongue which seem'd his own replied, 

And Lara heeds those tones that gently seem 

To soothe away the horrors of his dream ; 

If dream it were, that thus could overthrow 

A breast that needed not ideal woe. 

XV. 

Whate'er his frenzy dream'd or eye beheld, 
If yet remember'd ne'er to be re veal' d, 
Rests at his heart : the custom' d morning camo, 
And breathed new vigour in his shaking frame ; 
And solace sought he none from priest nor leecn, 
And soon the same in movement and in speech 
As heretofore he fill'd the passing hours, 
Nor icss he smiles, nor more his forehead lours 
Than these were wont ; and if the coining night 
Appear'd less weleome now to Lara's eight, 
He to his marvelling vassals show'd it not, 
Whose shuddering proved their fear was less forgot. 
In trembling pairs (alone they dared not) crawl 
The astonish' d slaves, and shun the fated hall ; 
The waving banner, and the clapping door, 
The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor ; 
The long dim shadows of surrounding trees, 
The flapping bat, the night-song of the breeze ; 
Aught they behold or hear their thought appals 
As evening saddens o'er the dark gray walls. 

XVI. 

Vain thought ! that hour of ne'er unravell'd g'.cxti. 
Came not again, or Lara could assume 
A. seeming of forgetfulness that made 
Hi* cassals more amazed nor less afraid — 

A< . 4 



+& 



LARA. 



271 



Had memory vanish'd then with sense restoi-ed. 1 

Since word, nor look, nor gesture of their lord 

Betrayed a feeling that recall'd to these 

That fever' d moment of his mind's* disease. 

Was it a dream ? was his the voice that spoke 

Those strange wild accents ; his the cry that broko 

Their slumber? his the oppress'd o'er-labour'd heart 

that ceased to beat, the look that made them start? 

Could he who thus had suffer'd, so forget 

When such as saw that suffering shudder yet ? 

Or did that silence prove his memory fix'd 

Too deep for words, indelible, unmix'd 

In that corroding secrecy which gnaws 

The heart to show the effect, but not the cause ? 

Not so in him ; his breast had buried both, 

Nor common gazers could discern the growth 

Of thoughts that mortal lips must leave half told ; 

They choke the feeble words that would unfold. 

XVII. 

[n him inexplicably mix'd appear'd 

Much to be loved and hated, sought and fear'd ; 

Opinion varying o'er his hidden lot, 

In praise or railing ne'er his name forgot ; 

His silence form'd a theme for others' prate — 

They guess'd — they gazed — they fain would know hu fztc 

What had he been? what was he, thus unknown, 

Who walk'd their world, his lineage only known ? 

A hater of his kind ? yet some would say, 

With them he could seem gay amidst the gay; 

But own'd that smile if oft observed and near, 

Waned in its mirth and wither'd to a sneer ; 

That smile might reach his lip, but pass'd not by, 

None e'er could trace its laughter to his eye : 

Yet there was softness too in his regard, 

A.t times, a heart as not by nature hard ; 

But once perceived, his spirit seem'd to chide 

Such weakness, as unworthy of its pride, 

And steel'd itself, as scorning to redeem 

One doubt from others' half-withheld esteem ; 

In self-inflicted penance of a breast 

Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest, { 

In vigilance of grief that would compel 

The soul to hate for having loved too well. 

xvni. 
There was in him a vital scorn of all : 
As if the worst had fall'n which could befall, 
He stood a stranger in this breathing world, 
An erring spirit from another hurl'd ; 
A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped 
By choice the perils he by chance escaped ; 
But 'scaped in vain, for in their memory yet 
His mind would half exult aad half regret ; 



■O* 



<> 



272 B\ RON'S POEMS, 

W ith more capacity for love than earth 

Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth, 

His early dreams of good outstripp'd the truth. 

And troubled manhood follow'd baffled youth ; 

With thought of years in phantom chase misspent. 

And wasted powers for better purpose lent , 

And fiery passions that had pour'd their wra.ti» 

In hurried desolation o'er his path, 

And left the better feelings all at strife 

In wild reflection o'er his stormy life ; 

But haughty still, and loth himself to blame, 

He call'd on Nature's self to share the shame, 

And charged all faults upon the fleshly form 

She gave to clog the soul, and feast the \fbrm ; 

Till he at last confounded good and ill, 

And half mistook for fate the acts of will : 

Too high for common selfishness, he could 

At times resign his own for others' good, 

But not in pity, not because he ought, 

But in some strange perversity of thought, 

That sway'd him onward with a secret pride 

To do what few or none would do beside ; 

And this same impulse would in tempting time 

Mislead his spirit equally to crime ; 

So much he soar'd beyond or sunk beneath 

The men with whom he felt condemn'd to breathy 

And long'd by good or ill to separate 

Himself from all who shared his mortal state ; 

His mind abhorring this, had fix'd her throL« 

Far from the world, in regions of her own ; 

Thus coldly passing all that pass'd below, 

His blood in temperate seeming now would £0*1/ : 

Ah ! happier if it ne'er with guilt had glow'd, 

But ever in that icy smoothness flow'd ! 

'Tis true, with other men their path he walk'd, 

And like the rest in seeming did and talk'd, 

Nor outraged Reason's rules by flaw nor start, — 

His madness was not of the head, but heart ; 

And rarely wander'd in his speech, or drew 

His thoughts so forth as to offend the view. 

XIX. 
With all that chilling mystery of mien, 
And seeming gladness to remain unseen ; 
He had (if 'twere not nature's boon) an art 
Of fixing memory on another's heart : 
It was not love, perchance — nor hate — nor aught 
That words can image to express the thought ; 
But they who saw him, did not see in vain, 
And once beheld, would ask of him again : 
And those to whom he spake remember'd well- 
And on the words, however light, would dwell : 
None knew nor how, nor why, but he entwmeo. 
Himself perforce around the hearer's aiinc 1 : 



4 



H 



LARA. 27; 

There he was stamp'd, in liking, or in hate, 
If greeted once ; however brief the date 
That friendship, pity, or aversion knew, 
Still there within the inmost thought he grew. 
You could not penetrate his soul, but found, 
Despite your wonder, to your own he wound ; 
His presence haunted still ; and from the breast 
He forced an all-unwilling interest ; 
Vain was the struggle in that mental net, 
His spirit seem'd to dare you to forget 1 

xx. 

There is a festival, where knights and dames, 
And aught that wealth or lofty lineage claims, 
Appear — a high-born and a welcome guest 
To Otho's hall came Lara with the rest. 
The long carousal shakes the illumined hall, 
Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball ; 
And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's trait 
Links grace and harmony in happiest chain : 
"Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands 
That mingle therein well-according bands ; 
It is a sight the careful brow might smoothe, 
And make Age smile, and dream itself to youti*, 
And Youth forget such hour was pass'd on eariii s 
So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth ! 

XXI. 

And Lara gazed on these sedately glad, 

His brow belied him, if his soul was sad, 

And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair, 

Wkose steps of lightness woke no echo there : 

He lean'd against the lofty pillar nigh 

With folded arms and long attentive eye, 

Nor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his, — 

111 brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this : 

Ac length he caught it, 'tis a face unknown, 

But seems as searching his, and his alone ; 

I'rying and dark, a stranger's by bis mien, 

Who still till now had gazed on him unseen ! 

At length encountering meets the mutual gaze 

Of keen inquiry and of mute amaze ; 

On Lara's glance emotion gathering grew, 

As if distrusting that the stranger threw ; 

Along the stranger's aspect fix'd and stern, 

1 lash'd more than thence the vulgar eye could leeia, 

xxn. 

" 'Tis he !" the stranger cried, and those that hearti 
Re-echoed fast and far the whisper' d word. 
"'Tis he !" — "'Tis who ?" they question far and near, 
TiiJ louder accents rung on Lara's ear ; 

'X 



•4 



274 B YR ON *S POEMS. 

5o widely spread, few bosoms well could brook 

The general marvel, or tbat single look ; 

But Lara stirr'd not, changed not ; the surprise 

That sprung at first to his arrested eyes, 

Seem'd now subsided, neither sunk nor raised 

Glanced his eye round, though still the stranger gazed., 

And drawing nigh exclaim'd with haughty sneer, 

*' Tis he i — how came he thence? — what doth he hare T* 

XXIII. 

It were too much for Lara to pass by 

Such question, so repeated fierce and high 4 

With look collected, but with accent cold, 

More mildly firm than petulantly bold, 

He turn'd and met the inquisitorial tone — 

"My name is Larp ! — when thine own is known, 

Doubt not my fitting answer to requite 

The unlook'd-for courtesy of such a knight. 

'Tis Lara ! — further wouldst thou mark or ask ? 

[ shun no question, and I wear no mask." 

" Thou shunn'st no question ! Ponder — is there nore 

Thy heart must answer, though thine ear would suuxi ? 

And deem'st thou me unknown too ? Gaze again: 

At least thy memory was not given in vain. 

Oh ! never canst thou cancel half her debt, 

Eternity forbids thee to forget." 

With slow and searching glance upon his face 

Grew Tiara's eyes, but nothing there could trace 

They knew, or chose to know — with dubious look 

He deign'd no answer, but his head he shook, 

And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away ; 

But the stern stranger motion'd him to stay. 

" A word ! I charge thee stay, and answer hers 

To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer ; 

But as thou wast and art — nay, frown not, lord, 

If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word — 

But as thou wast and art, on thee looks down, 

Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown. 

Art thou not he ? whose deeds " 

"Whate'or I be, 
Words wild as these, accusers like to thee, 
I list no further ; those with whom they weigh 
May hear the rest, nor venture to gainsay 
The wondrous tale no doubt thy tongue can tell, 
Which thus begins so courteously and well. 
Let Otho cherish here his polish 'd guest, 
To him my thanks and thoughts shall be express' &." 
And here their wondering host hath interposed— 
** Whate'er there be between you undisclosed, 
This is no time nor fitting place to mar 
The mirthful meeting with a wordy war. 
If thou, Sir Ezzelin, hast aught to show 
W T ni".h it befits Count Lara's ear to know. 



o 



— 4" 



*©* 



LARA. 275 

To-morrow, here, or elsewhere, as may best 

Beseem your mutual judgment, speak the rest l 

I pledge myself for thee, as not unknown, 

Though, like Count Lara, now return'd alone 

From other lands, almost a stranger grown ; 

And if from Lara's blood and gentle birth 

I augur right of courage and of worth, 

lie will not that untainted line belie, 

Nor aught that knighthood may accord, deny." 

"To-morrow be it," Ezzelin replied, 

" And here our several worth and truth be tried \ 

I gage my life, my falchion to attest 

My words, so may I mingl6 with the blest ! " 

W hat answers Lara ? to its centre shrunk 

His soul, in deep abstraction sudden sunk ; 

The words of many, and the eyes of all 

That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fal) ; 

But his were silent, his appear'd to stray 

in far forgetful ness away — away — 

Alas ! that heedlessness of all around 

Bespoke remembrance only too profound. 

XXIV. 

" To-morrow ! — ay, to-morrow ! " further word 

Than those repeated none from Lara heard ; 

Upon his brow no outward passion spoke, 

From his large eye no flashing anger broke ; 

Yet there was something fix'd in that low tone 

Which show'd resolve, determined, though unknown. 

He seized his cloak — his head he slightly bow'd, 

And passing Ezzelin, he left the crowd ; 

And, as he pass'd him, smiling met the frown 

With which that chieftain's brow would bear him down , 

It was nor smile of mirth, nor struggling pride 

That curbs to scorn the wrath it cannot hide ; 

But that of one in his own heart secure 

Of all that he would do, or could endure. 

Could this mean peace ? the calmness of t^e pjeo^. \ 

Or guilt grown old in desperate hardihood '{ 

Alas ! too like in confidence are each 

fox man to trust to mortal look or speech ; 

From deeds, and deeds alone, may he discern 

Truths which it wrings the unpractised heart fcc 'oiutd. 

XXV. 

And Lara call'd his page, and went b>s way— • 
Well could that stripling word or sign obey ; 
His only follower from those climes afar 
Where the soul glows beneath a brighter star j 
For Lara left the shore from whence he sprung, 
In duty patient, and sedate though young ; 
8ilent as him he served, his fate appears 
Above his station, and beyond his years. 
Though not unknown the tongue of Lara's iard 
r Ji such from him he rarelv heard command : 
T 2 



■*ff 



♦"©■♦ 



2 76 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But fleet his step, and clear hi«? tones would come, 
When Lara's lip breathed forth the words of home : 
Those accents, as his native mountains dear, 
Awake their absent echoes in his ear, 
Friends', kindred's, parents', wonted voice recall. 
Now lost, abjured, for one — his friend, his all : 
For him earth now disclosed no other guide ; 
What marvel then he rarely left his side ? 

XXVI. 

Light was his form, and darkly delicate 

That brow whereon his native sun had sate, 

But had not marr'd, though in his beams he grew, 

The cheek where oft the unbidden blush shone through 

Yet not such blush as mounts when health would show 

All the heart's hue in that delighted glow ; 

But 'twas a hectic tint of secret care 

That for a burning moment fever'd there ; 

And the wild sparkle of his eye seem'd caught 

From high, and lighten'd with electric thought, 

Though its black orb those long low lashes fringe, 

Had temper'd with a melancholy tinge ; 

Yet less of sorrow than of pride was there, 

Or, if 'twere grief, a grief that none should share : 

And please not him the sports that please his age, 

The tricks of youth, the frolics of the page ; 

For hours on Lara he would fix his glance, 

As all-forgotten in that watchful trance ; 

A nd from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone, 

Brief were his answers, and his questions none ; 

II is walk the wood, his sport some foreign book ; 

His resting-place the bank that curbs the brook : 

He seem'd, like him he served, to live apart 

From all that lures the eye, and fills the heart ; 

To know no brotherhood, and take from earth 

No gift beyond that bitter boon — our birth. 

XXVII. 

rf aught he loved, 'twas Lara ; but was shown 

His faith in reverence and in deeds alone ; 

In mute attention ; and his care, which guess'd 

Each wish, fulfill' d it ere the tongue express' d. 

Stih t&ere was haughtiness in all he did, 

A spirit deep that brook' d not to be chid ; 

His seal, though more than that of servile har?d3> 

In act alone obeys, his air commands ; 

As if 'twas Lara's less than his desire 

That thus he served, but surely not for hire. 

Slight were the tasks enjoin'd him by his lord, 

To hold the stirrup, or to bear tne sword ; 

To tune his lute, or, if he will'd it more, 

On tomes of other times and tongues to pore ; 

But ne'er to mingle with the menial train, 

To wnom he show'd nor deference nor disdain., 



<P- 



+&■ 



LARA. 277 

But that well-worn reserve which proved he knew 

No sympathy with that familiar crew : 

His soul, whate'er his station or his stem, 

Could bow to Lara, not descend to them. 

Of higher birth he seem'd, and better days, 

Nor mark of vulgar toil that hand betrays, 

So femininely white it might bespeak 

Another sex, when match' d with that smooth chock. 

But for his garb, and something in his gaze, 

Mare wild and high than womau's eye betrays ; 

A latent fierceness that far more became 

His fiery climate than his tender frame : 

True, in his words it broke not from his breast, 

But from his aspect might be more than guess' d. 

Kaled his name, though rumour said he bore 

Another ere he left his mountain shore ; 

For sometimes he would hear, however nigh, 

That name repeated loud without reply, 

As unfamiliar, or, if roused again, 

Start to the sound, as but remember'd then ; 

Unless 'twas Lara's wonted voice that spake, 

For then, ear, eyes, and heart would all awake. 

xxvin. 
He had look'd down upon the festive hall. 
And mark'd that sudden strife so mark'd of all ; 
And when the crowd around and near him told 
Their wonder at the calmness of the bold, 
Their marvel how the high-born Lara bore 
Such insult from a stranger, doubly sore, 
The colour of young Kaled went and came, 
The lip of ashes, and the eneek of flame ; 
And o'er his brow the dampening heart-drops threw 
The sickening iciness of that cold dew 
That rises as the busy bosom sinks 
With heavy thoughts from which reflection shrinks. 
Yes — there be things which we must dream and dare 
And execute ere thought be half aware : 
Whate'er might Kaled's be, it was enow 
To seal his lip, but agonize his brow. 
He gazea on Ezzelin till Lara cast 
That sidelong smile upon the knight he pass'd ; 
When Kaled saw that smile, his visage fell, 
As if on something recognized right well : 
His memory read in such a meaning more 
Than Lara's aspect unto others wore. 
Forward he sprung — a moment, both were gone, 
And all within that hall seem'd left alone ; 
Each had so fix'd his eye on Lara's mien, 
All had so mix'd their feelings with that scene, 
That when his long dark shadow through the perch 
No more relieves the glare of yon high torch, 
Each pulse beats quicker, and all bosoms seem 
Vo bound as doubting from too black a dream, 




^ 



27 S B\ RON'S POEMS. 

Such as we know is false, yet dread in soozfc, 
Because the worst is ever nearest truth. 
And they are gone — but Ezzelin is there. 
With thoughtful visage and imperious air . 
But long remain'd not ; ere an hour expired. 
He waved his hand to Otho, and retired. 

XXIX. 

The crowd are gone, the revellers at rest ; 
The courteous host, and all-approving guest, 
Again to thut accustom'd couch must creep 
Where joy subsides, and sorrow sighs to sleep, 
And man, o'erlabourM with his being's strife, 
Shrinks to that sweet forgetfulness of life : 
There lie love's feverish hope, and cunning's gui'ie, 
Hate's working brain, and lull'd ambition's wile ; 
O'er each vain eye oblivion's pinions wave, 
And quench 'd existence crouches in a grave. 
What better name may slumber's bed become ? 
Night's sepulchre, the universal home, 
Where weakness, strength, vice, virtue, sunk supine 
Alike in naked helplessness recline ; 
Glad for awhile to heave unconscious breath, 
Yet wake to wrestle with the dread of death, 
And shun, though day but dawn on ills increased, 
That sleep, the loveliest, since it dreams the least. 



*§■ 



CANTO THE SECOND. 

I. 

Night wanes — the vapours round the mountains crurl/cL, 

Melt into morn, and Light awakes the world. 

Man has another day to swell the past, 

And lead him near to little, but his last ; 

But mighty Nature bounds as from her birth, 

The sun is in the heavens, and life on earth ; 

Flowers in the valley, splendour in the beam, 

Health on the gale, and freshness in the stream. 

Immortal man ! behold her glories shine, 

And cry, exulting inly, " They are thine ! " 

Gaze on, while yet thy gladdend eye may see, 

A morrow comes when they are not for thee ; 

A'ld grieve what may above thy senseless biee, 

Nor earth nor sky will yield a single tear ; 

Nor cloud shall gather more, nor leaf shall fall, 

Nor gale breathe forth one sigh for thee, for ali J 

Hut creeping things shall revel in their spoil, 

And fit thy clay to fertilize the soil. 

EL 

Tis mora — 'tis noon — assembled in the hall, 
The gather' d chieftains come to Otho's ca' 1 



4 



■&+ 



LARA. 279 

Tis now the promised hour, that must proclaim 
The life or death of Lara's futuro fame , 
When Ezzelin his charge may here unfold, 
And whatsoe'er the tale, it must be told. 
His faith was pledged, and Lara's promise given, 
To meet it in the eye of man and Heaven. 
Why comes he not ? Such truths to be divulgG'.l, 
Methinks the accuser's rest is long indulged. 

III. 

The hour is past, and Lara too is there, 
With self-confiding, coldly patient air ; 
Why comes not Ezzelin ? The hour is past, 
And murmurs rise, and Otho's brow 's o'ercast. 
" I know my friend ! his faith I cannot fes»r, 
If yet he be on earth, expect him here ; 
The roof that held him in the valley stands, 
Between my own and noble Lara's lands ; 
My halls from such a guest had honour gain'd, 
Nor had Sir Ezzelin his host disdain'd, 
But that some previous proof forbade his stay, 
And urged him to prepare against to-day ; 
The word I pledged for his I pledge again, 
Or will myself redeem his knighthood's stain." 

He ceased — and Lara answer'd, "I am here 

To lend at thy demand a listening ear, 

To tales of evil from a stranger's tongue, 

Whose words already might my heart have MTuug ; 

But that I deem'd him scarcely less than mad, 

Or, at the worst, a foe ignobly bad. 

I know him not ; but me it seems he knew 

In lands where — but I must not trifle too : 

Produce this babbler — or redeem the pledge ; 

Here in thy hold, and with thy falchion's edge. 55 

Proud Otho on the instant, reddening, threw 
His glove on earth, and forth his sabre flew. 
" The last alternative befits me best, 
And thus I answer for mine absent guest." 

With cheek unchanging from its sallow gloom. 

However near his own or other's tomb ; 

With hand, whose almost careless coolness spoke 

Its grasp well used to deal the sabre-stroke ; 

With eye, though calm, determined not to spare, 

Did Lara too his willing weapon bare. 

In vain the circling chieftains round them closed, 

For Otho's frenzy would not be opposed ; 

And from his Up those words of insult fell — 

His sword is good who can maintain them well, 

rv. 

Short was the conflict ; furious, blindly raet, 
Vain Otho gave his bosom to the gash : 



$ 



H - H - 




280 BYRON'S POEMS. 

He bl^j, and fell ; but not with deadly wound, 

Stretch'd by a dextrous sleight along the ground. 

" Demand thy life ! " He answer'd not : and thet 

From that red floor he ne'er had risen again, 

For Lara's brow upon the moment grew 

Almost to blackness in its demon hue ; 

And fiercer shook his angry falchion now 

Than when hie foe's was levell'd at his brow ; 

Then all was storn collectedness and art, 

Now rose the unleaven'd hatred of his heart ; 

So little sparing to the foe he fell'd, 

That when the approaching crowd his arm withheld 

He almost turn'd the thirsty point on those 

Who thus for mercy dared to interpose ; 

But to a moment's thought that purpose cent ; 

Yet look'd he on him still with eye intent, 

As if he loathed the ineffectual strife 

That left a foe, howe'er o'erthrown, with life ; 

A s if to search how far the wound he gave 

Had sent its victim onward to his grave. 

v. 

They raised the bleeding Otho, and the Leech 
Forbade till present question, sign, and speech ; 
The others met within a neighbouring hall, 
And he, incensed and heedless of them all, 
The cause and conqueror in this sudden fray, 
In haughty silence slowly strode away ; 
He back'd his steed, his homeward path he took, 
Nor cast on Otho's towers a single look. 

VI. 

But where was he? that meteor of a night, 
Who menaced but to disappear with light. 
Where was this Ezzelin ? who came and went 
To leave no other trace of his intent. 
He left the dome of Otho long ere morn, 
In darkness, yet so well the path was worn 
He could not miss it : near his dwelling lay ; 
But there he was not, and with coming day 
Came fast inquiry, which unfolded nought 
Except the absence of the chief it sought. 
A chamber tenantless, a steed at rest, 
His host alarm'd, his murmuring squires distress'd : 
Their search extends along, around the path, 
In dread to meet the marks of prowlers' wrath : 
But none are there, and not a brake hath borne 
Nor gout of blood, nor shred of mantle torn ; 
Nor fall nor struggle hath defaced the grass, 
Wmch still retains a mark where murder was ; 
Nor dabbling fingers left to tell the tale, 
The bitter print of each convulsive nail, 
When agonized hands that cease to guard. 
Wound in that pang the smoothness of the sward. 



+& 



LARA. 281 

Some such had been, if here a life was reft, 
But these were not ; and doubting hope is loft ; 
And strange suspicion, whispering Lara's name, 
Now daily mutters o'er his blacken'd fame ; 
Then sudden silent when his form appear'd, 
A. waits the absence of the thing it fear'd ; 
Again its wonted wondering to renew, 
And dye conjecture with a darker hue. 

VII. 

Days roll along, and Otho's wounds are heal'd. 

But not his pride ; and hate no moro conceal'd : 

He was a man of power, and Lara's foe, 

The friend of all who sought to work him woe, 

And from his country's justice now demands 

Account of Ezielin at Lara's hands. 

Who else than Lara could have cause to fear 

His presence ? who had made him disappear, 

If not the man on whom his menaced charge 

Had sate too deeply were he left at large ? 

The general rumour ignorantly loud, 

The mystery dearest to the curious crowd ; 

The seeming friendlessness of him who strove 

To win no confidence, and wake no love ; 

The sweeping fierceness which his soul betray' d, 

The skill with which he wielded his keen blade ; 

Where had his arm unwarlike caught that art ? 

Where had that fierceness grown upon his heart \ 

For it was not the blind capricious rage 

A word can kindle and a word assuage ; 

But the deep working of a soul unmix'd 

With aught of pity where its wrath had fix'd ; 

Such as long power and overgorged success 

Concentrates into all that's merciless : 

These, link'd with that desire which ever sways 

Mankind, the rather to condemn than praise, 

'Gainst Lara gathering raised at length a storm, 

Such as himself might fear, and foes would form, 

And he must answer for the absent head 

Of one that haunts him still, alive or dead. 

vm. 

Within that land was many a malcontent, 
Who cursed the tyranny to which he bent ; 
That soil full many a wringing despot saw, 
Who work'd his wantonness in form of law , 
Long war without and frequent broil within 
Had made a path for blood and giant sin, 
That waited but a signal to begin 
New havoc, such as civil discord blends, 
Which knows no neuter, owns but foes or friends ^ 
Fix'd in his feudal fortress each was lord, 
In word aiid deed obey'd, in soul abhorr'd. 



-K- 



^ 



2S2 



BVXOX'S POEMS. 



Thus Lara had inherited his lands, 

And with them pining hearts and sluggish hands : 

But that long absence from his native clime 

Had left him stainless of oppression's crime, 

And now, diverted by his milder sway, 

All dread by slow degrees had worn away ; 

The menials felt their asu&J :uve alone, 

But more for him than them that fear was grown ; 

They deem'd him now unhappy though at first 

Their evil judgment augur'd of the worst, 

And each long restleiis night, ana silent mood, 

Was traced to sickness, fed by solitude : 

And though his lonely habits threw of late 

Gloom o'er his chamber, cheerful was his gate ; 

For thence the wretched ne'er unsoothed withdrew. 

For them, at least, his soul oompassioii knew. 

Cold to the great, contemptuous to the high, 

The humble pass'd not his unheeding 

Much ho would speak not, but beneath his roof 

Th. v found asylum oft, and ne'er reproof. 

And they who wateh'd might mark that, day by day 3 

Some new retainers gathered to his sway ; 

But most of late, sinco Kzzelin was lost, 

He plav'd the courteous lord and bounteous host : 

Perchance his strife with Otho made him dr . 1 

Some snare prepared for his obnoxious head , 

"Ahate'er his view, his favour more obtains 

With these, the people, than his fellow thanes. 

If this were policy, so far 'twas sound, 

The million judged but of him as thev found ; 

From him by sterner chiefs to exile driven 

They but required a shelter, and 'twas given. 

By him no peasant mourn' d his rifled cot, 

And scarce the serf could murmur o'er his lot ; 

With him old avarice found its hoard secure, 

With him contempt forbore to mock the poor ; 

Youth present cheer and promised recompense 

Detain'd till all too late to part from thence . 

To hato he ofler'd, with the coming change, 

The deep reversion of delay' d revenge ; 

To love, long baffled by the unequal match, 

The well-won charms success was sure to snatoh. 

All now was ripe, he waits but to proclaim 

That slavery nothing which was still a name. 

The moment came, the hour when Otho thought 

Secure at last the vengeance which he sought : 

II is summons found the destined criminal 

Begirt by thousands in his swarming hall, 

Fresh from their feudal fetters newly riven, 

Defying earth, and confident of heaven. 

That morning he had freed the soil-bound slaves 

Who dig no land for tyrants but their graves ! 

Buch is their cry — some watchword for the fight 

Iiius* vindicate the wrong, and warp the right : 



4* 






LARA. 283 

Roligion — freedom — vengeanoe — what you will, 

A word's enough to raise mankind to kill ; 

Some factious phrase by ounnio v'. 

That guilt may reign, and wolves and worms bo foil! 
IX. 

Throughout that climo tho feudal chiefs had train' d 

Such sway, thoir infant monarch hardly reign d ; 

Now was the hour for faction's rebel growth, 

Tho serfs contemn'd tho one, and hated both : 

They waited but a leader, and they found 

One to their cause inseparably bound ; 

By circumstance oompell'd to plunge again, 

In self-defonce, amidst the strife of men. 

Cut off by some mysterious fate from those 

Whom birth and nature meant not for his foot, 

Had Lara from that night, to him accurst. 

Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst : 

Some reason urged, whate'er it was, to shun 

Inquiry into deeds at distance done ; 

By mingling with his own the cause of all, 

E'en if he fail'd, he still delay'd his fall. 

The sullen calm that long his bosom kept, 

The storm that once had spent itself and slept, 

Roused by events that seem'd foredoom'd to urge 

His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge, 

Burst forth, and made him all he once had beuij 

And is again; — he only changed the scene. 

Light care had he for life, and less for fame, 

But not less fitted for the desperate game : 

He deem'd himself mark'd out for others' hate, 

And mock'd at ruin, so they shared his fate. 

What cared he for the freedom of the crowd ? 

He raised the humble but to bend the proud. 

He had hoped quiet in his sullen lair, 

But man and destiny beset him there : 

Inured to hunters, he was found at bay ; 

And they must kill, they cannot snare the prey. 

Stern, unambitious, silent, he had been 

Henceforth a calm spectator of life's scene ; 

But dragg'd again upon the arena, stood 

A leader not unequal to the feud ; 

In voice — mien — gesture — savage nature spokw, 

And from his eye the gladiator broke. 

X. 

What boots the oft-repeated tale of strife, 
The feast of vultures, and the waste of life ? 
The varying fortune of each separate field, 
The fierce that vanquish, and the faint that yield? 
The smoking ruin, and the crumbled wall ? 
In this the struggle was the same with all ; 
Save that distemper'd passions lent their force 
In bitterness that banish 'd all remorse. 



4- 



•4* 



284 BYRON'S POEMS. 

None suod, for Mercy knew her cry was vain, 

The captive died upon the battle-slain : 

In either cause, one rage alone possess'd 

The empire of the alternate victor's breast ; 

And they that smote for freedom or for sway, 

Deem'd few were slain, while more remain'd to el&y. 

It was too late to check the wasting brand, 

And Desolation reap'd the famish'd land ; 

The torch was lighted, and the flame was spread, 

And Carnage smiled upon her daily bread. 

XI. 

Fresh with the nerve the new-born impulse Strang, 

The first success to Lara's numbers clung ; 

But that vain victory htith ruin'd all, — 

They form no longer to their leader's call ; 

In blind confusion on the foe they press, 

And think to snatch is to secure success. 

The lust of boot}', and the thirst of hate, 

Lure on the broken brigands to their fate : 

In vain he doth whate'er a chief may do, 

To check the headlong fury of that crew ; 

In vain their stubborn ardour he would tame, 

The hand that kindles cannot quench the flamo ; 

The wary foe alone hath turu'd their mood, 

And shown their rashness to that erring brood : 

The feign'd retreat, the nightly ambuscade, 

The daily harass, and the fight delay'd, 

The long privation of the hoped supply, 

The tentless rest beneath the humid sky, 

The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's art* 

And palls the patience of his baffled heart. 

Of these they had not deem'd : the battle-day 

They could encounter as a veteran may ; 

But more preferr'd the fury of the strife, 

And present death, to hourly suffering life : 

And famine wrings, and fever sweeps away 

His numbers melting fast from their array ; 

Intemperate triumph fades to discontent, 

And Lara's soul alone seems still unbent : 

But few remain to aid his voice and hand, 

And thousands dwindled to a scanty band : 

Desperate, though few, the last and best remain d 

To mourn the discipline they late disdain'd. 

One hope survives, the frontier is not far, 

And thence they may escape from native war ; 

And bear within them to the neighbouring state 

An exile's sorrows, or an outlaw's hate : 

Hard is the task their father-land to quit, 

But harder still to perish or submit. 

XII. 

It i3 resolved — they march — consenting Night 
Guides with her star their dim and torchless flight * 



A 



■*&♦ 



LARA. 285 

Already they perceive its tranquil beam 

Bleep on the surface of the barrier stream ; 

Already they descry — Is yon the bank? 

Away ! 'tis lined with many a hostile rank. 

Return or fly ! — Wh.it glitters in the rear? 

'Tis Otho's banner — the pursuer's spear ! 

Arc those the shepherds' fires upon the height \ 

Alas ! they blaze too widely for the flight : 

Cut off from hope, and compass'd in the toil, 

Less blood, perchance, hath bought a richer spoi 1 1 

XIII. 
A moment's pause — 'tis but to breathe their band, 
Or shall they onward press, or here withstand ? 
It matters little — if they charge the foes 
Who by their border-stream their march oppose, 
Some few, perchance, may break and pass the line, 
However link'd to baffle such design. 
" The charge be ours ! — to wait for their assault 
Were fate well worthy of a coward's halt." 
Forth flies each sabre, rein'd is every steed, 
And the next word shall scarce outstrip the deai : 
In the next tone of Lara's gathering breath 
How many shall but hear the voice of death ! 

XIV. 

His blade is bared, — in him there is an air 

As deep, but far too tranquil for despair ; 

A something of indifference more than thea 

Becomes the bravest, if they feel for men — 

H e turn'd his eye on Kaled, ever near, 

And still too faithful to betray one fear ; 

Pei'chance 'twas but the moon's dim twilight threw 

Along his aspect an unwonted hue 

Of mournful paleness, whose deep tint express'd 

The truth, and not the terror of his breast. 

This Lara mark'd, and laid his hand on his : 

It trembled not in such an hour as this ; 

His lip was silent, scarcely beat his heart, 

His eye alone proclaim'd — 

1 ' We will not pai"t I 
Thy band may perish, or thy friends may flee, 
Farewell to life, but not adieu to thee ! " 
The word hath pass'd his lips, and onward driven, 
Pours the link'd band through ranks asunder riven ; 
Well has each steed obey'd the armed heel, 
And flash the scimitars, and rings the steel ; 
Outnumber' d, not outbraved, they still oppose 
Despair to daring, and a front to foes ; 
And blood is mingled with the dashing stream, 
Which runs all redly till the morning beam. 

xv. 

Commanding, aiding, animating all, 

^*There foe appear'd to press, or friend to c all. 




BYRON'S POEMS. 

Cheers Lara's voice, and waves or strikes his steel, 
Inspiring hope himself had ceased to feel. 
None tied, for well tbey knew that flight were vaiu ; 
But those that waver turn to smite again, 
While yet they find the firmest of the foe 
Recoil before their leader's look and blow : 
Now girt with numbers, now almost alone, 
He foils their ranks, or reunites his own ; 
Himself he spared not — once they seem'd to fly- 
Now was the time, he waved his hand on high, 
And shook — why sudden droops that plumed crest % 
The shaft is sped — the arrow 's in his breast ! 
That fatal gesture left the unguarded side, 
And Death hath stricken down yon arm of pride. 
The word of triumph fainted from his tongue ; 
That hand, so raised, how droopingly it hung ! 
But yet the sword instinctively retains, 
Though from its fellow shrink the falling reins ; 
These Kaled snatches : dizzy with the blow, 
And senseless bending o'er his saddle-bow, 
Perceives not Lara that his anxious page 
Beguiles his charger from the combat's rage : 
Meantime his followers charge, and charge again ; 
Too mix'd the slayers now to heed the slain ! 

XVI. 

Day glimmers on the dying and the dead, 

The cloven cuirass, and the helmless head ; 

The war-horse masterless is on the earth, 

And that last gasp hath burst his bloody girth ; 

And near yet quivering with what life remain'd. 

The heel that urged him and the hand that rem'd ; 

And some too near that rolling torrent lie, 

Whose waters mock the lip of those that die ; 

That panting thirst which scorches in the breath 

Of those that die the soldier's fiery death, 

In vain impels the burning mouth to crave 

One drop — the last — to cool it for the grave ; 

With feeble and convulsive effort swept 

Their limbs along the crimson'd curf have crept ; 

The faint remains of life such struggles waste, 

But yet they reach the stream, and bend to taste : 

They feel its freshness, and almost partake — 

Why pause ? — no further thirst have they to alike— 

It is unquench'd, and yet they feel it not ; 

It was an agony — but now forgot 1 

XVII. 

Beneath a lime, remoter from the scene, 
Where but for him that strife had never been, 
A breathing but devoted warrior lay : 
Twas Lara bleeding fast from life away. 
His follower once, and now his only guide, 
Kneels Kaled watchful o'er his welling side. 



•4* 



f 



& 



LARA. 2S7 

And with hie scarf would stanch the tides that rusk 

With each convulsion in a blacker gush ; 

A.nd then as his faint breathing waxes low, 

In feebler, not less fatal tricklings flow : 

He scarce can speak, but motions him 'tis vain, 

And merely adds another throb to pain. 

He clasps the hand that pang which would assuage. 

And sadly smiles his thanks to that dark page, 

Who nothing fears nor feels, nor heeds, nor sees, 

Save that damp brow which rests upon his knees ; 

Save that pale aspect, where the eye, though dim, 

Held all the light that shone on earth for him. 

XVIII. 

The foe arrives, who long had seoxch'd the field, 
Their triumph nought till Lara too should yield ; 
They would remove him, bat they see 'twere vain 
And he regards them with a calm disdain, 
That rose to reconcile him with his fate, 
And that escape to death from living hate : 
And Otho comes, and leaping from his steed, 
Looks on the bleeding foe that made him bleed, 
And questions of his state ; he answers not, 
Scarce glances on him as on one forgot, 
And turns to Kaled : — each remaining word, 
They understood not, if distinctly heard ; 
His dying tones are in that other tongue, 
To which some strange remembrance wildly clung. 
They spake of other scenes, but what — is known 
To Kaled, whom their meaning reach'd alone ; 
And he replied, though faintly, to their sound, 
While gazed the rest in dumb amazement round : 
They seem'd ev'n then — that twain — unto the last 
To half forget the present in the past ; 
To share between themselves some separate fate, 
Whose darkness none beside should penetrate. 

XIX. 

Their words though faint were many — from the tone 

Their import those who heard could judge alone ; 

From this, you might have deem'd young Kaled's death 

More near than Lara's by his voice and breath, 

So sad, so dscji, and hesitating broke 

The accents ids scarce-moving pale lips spoke ; 

But Lara's voice, though low, at first was clear 

And calm, till murmuring death gasp'd hoarsely neat : 

But from his visage little could we guess, 

So unrepentant, dark, and passionless, 

Save that when struggling nearer to his last, 

Upon that page his eye was kindly cast ; 

And once as Kaled's answering accents ceased, 

Rose Lara's hand, and pointed to the East : 

Whether (as then the breaking sun from high 

Boll'd back the clouds) the morrow caught his eye, 



4 



288 



BYRON'S POEMS. 



O* that 'twas chance, or some remember' d scene 

That raised his arm to point where such had been, 

Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turn'd away, 

As if his heart abhorr'd that coming day, 

And shrunk his glance before that morning light 

To look on Lara's brow — where all grew night. 

Yet sense seem'd left, though better were its loss ! 

For when one near displa} 7 'd the absolving cross. 

And proffer 'd to his touch the holy bead 

Of which his parting soul might own the need, 

He look'd upon it with an eye profane, 

And smiled — Heaven pardco I if 'twere with disdaic ; 

And Kaled, though he spoke not, nor withdrew 

From Lara's face his fix'd despairing view, 

With brow repulsive, and with gesture swift, 

Flung back the hand which held the sacred gift, 

As if such but disturb'd the expiring man, 

Nor seem'd to know his life but then began, 

The life immortal, infinite, secure, 

To all for whom that cross hath made it sure ! 

XX. 

But gasping heaved the breath that Lara drew, 
And dull the film along his dim eye grew ; 
His limbs stretch'd fluttering, and his head droop* d o'-cn 
The weak yet still untiring knee that bore ; 
He press'd the hand he held upon his heart — 
It beats no more, but Kaled will not part 
With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain, 
For that faint throb which answers not again. 
" It beats !" — Away, thou dreamer ! he is gone- 
It once was Lara which thou look'st upon. 

XXI. 

He gazed, as if not yet had pass'd away 

The haughty spirit of that humble clay ; 

And those around have roused him from his trance, 

But cannot tear from thence his fixed glance ; 

And when in raising him from where he bore 

Within his arms the form that felt no more, 

He saw the head his breast would still sustain 

Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain ; 

He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear 

The glossy tendrils of his raven hair, 

But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd and fell, 

Scarce breathing more than that he loved so welL 

Than that he loved ! Oh ! never yet beneath 

The breast of man such trusty love may breathe [ 

That trying moment hath at once reveal'd 

The secret long and yet but half-conceal'd; 

In baring to revive that lifeless breast, 

Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confess'd ; 

And life return'd, and Kaled felt no shame — 

What now to her was Womanhood or Fame ? 



o 



<> 



LARA. 



x:m. 



289 



And Lara sleeps not where his fathers sleep, 

But where he died his grave was dug as deep ; 

Nor is his mortal slumber less profound, 

Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd the mound 5 

And he was mourn' d by one whose quiet grief 

Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief. 

Vain was all question ask'd her of the past, 

And vain e'en menace — silent to the last ; 

She told nor whence nor why she left behind 

Her all for one who seem'd but little kind. 

Why did she love him ? Curious fool ! — bo still — 

Is human love the growth of human will ? 

To her he might be gentleness ; the stern 

Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes discern, 

And when they love, your smilers guess nol how 

Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow. 

They were not common links that form'd the chain 

That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain ; 

But that wild tale she brook'd not to unfold, 

And seal'd is now each lip that could have told. 

XXIII. 

They laid him in the earth, and on his breast, 
Besides the wound that sent his soul to rest, 
They found the scatter'd dints of many a scar 
Which were not planted there in recent war : 
Where'er had pass'd his summer years of life, 
It seems they vanish' d in a land of strife ; 
But all unknown his glory or his guilt, 
These only told that somewhere blood was spilt, 
And Ezzelin, who might have spoke the past, 
Return'd no more — that night appear'd his last. 

XXIV. 

Upon that night (a peasant's is the tale) 
A serf that cross' d the intervening vale, 
When Cynthia's light almost gave way to morn, 
And nearly veil'd in mist a waning horn ; 
A serf, that rose betimes to thread the wood, 
And hew the bough that bought his children's food) 
Pass'd by the river that divides the plain 
Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain : 
He heard a tramp — a horse and horseman broke 
From out the wood — before him was a cloak 
Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle-bow, 
Bent was his head, and hidden was his brow. 
Rovsed by the sudden sight at such a time, 
And some foreboding that it might be crimo, 
Himself unheeded watch' d the stranger's course, 
Who reach'd thG river, bounded from his horse, 
V 



T 



■Q 



290 BIXOA'S FOEMS. 

And lifting thence the burthen which he bore, 

Heaved up the bank, and dash'd it from the shore. 

Then paused, and look'd, and turn'd, and seem'd tc U'otoh 

And still another hurried glance v»ould snatch, 

And follow with his step the stream that flow'd, 

As if even yet too much its surface show'd : 

At once he staited, stoop' d, around him strown 

The winter floods had scatter'd heaps of stone ; 

Of these the heaviest thence he gather'd there, 

And slung them with a more than common care 

Meantime the serf had crept to where, unseen, 

Himself might safely mark what this might mean , 

He caught a glimpse, as of a floating breast, 

And something glitter'd starlike on the vest, 

But ere he well could mark the buoyant trunk, 

A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk : 

It rose again, but indistinct to view, 

And left the waters of a purple hue, 

Then deeply disappear'd : the horseman gazod 

Till ebb'd the latest eddy it had raised ; 

Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed, 

And instant spurr'd him into panting speed. 

His face was mask'd — the features of the dead, 

If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread ; 

But if in sooth a star its bosom bore, 

Such is the badge that knighthood ever wore, 

And such 'tis known Sir Ezzelin had worn 

Upon the night that led to such a morn. 

If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his soul ! 

His uudiscover'd limbs to ocean roll ; 

And charity upon the hope would dwell 

It was not Lara's hand by which he fell. 

XXV. 

And Kaled — Lara, — Ezzelin, are gone, 

Alike without their monumental stone ! 

The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean 

From lingering where her chieftain's blood had been ; 

Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud, 

Her tears were few, her wailing never loud ; 

But furious would you tear her from the spot 

Wh^re yet she scarce believed that he was not, 

Her eye shot forth with all the living fire 

That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire ; 

But left to waste her weary moments there, 

She taik'd all idly unto shapes of air, 

Such as the busy brain of Sorrow paints, 

And woos to listen to her fond complaints : 

And she would sit beneath the very tree 

Where lay his drooping head upon her knee ; 

And in that posture where she saw him falL 

His words, his looks, his dying grasp recall ; 

* Vhe remlor who wishes to know wheui* Lord Byrou took the incident e& tt*s dfc- 
aupe«3fuu:e ol Sir Ezzelin, ma> dud it 111 Koacue'* l- *o X. vol. l. p sfr>& 

^ ►&) 



<i>. 



COy P0 LA TOR Y ADDRESS. 29 1 

And she had snorn, but saved her raven hair, 
And oft would snatch it from her bosom there, 
And fold, and press it gently to the ground, 
As if she stanch'd anew some phantom's wound. 
Herself would question and for him reply ; 
Then rising, start, and beckon him to Hy 
Prom some imagined spectre in pursuit ; 
Then seat her down upon some linden's root, 
And hide her visage with her meagre hand, 
Or trace strange characters along the sand. — 
This could not last — she lies by him she loved ; 
Her tale untold — her truth too dearly proved. 



— ♦-K^Sjf.** 



CONDOLATORY ADDRESS 

TO SARAH, COUNTESS OP JERSEY, ON THE PRINCE REGENT'S 
RETURNING HER PICTURE TO MRS. MEE. 

When the vain triumph of the imperial lord, 
Whom servile Rome obey'd, and yet abhorr'd, 
Gave to the vulgar gaze each glorious bust, 
That left a likeness of the brave, or just ; 
What most admired each scrutinizing eye 
Of all that deck'd that passing pageantry ? 
What spread from face to face that wondering air ? 
The thought of Brutus — for his was not there ! 
That absence proved his worth, — that absence fix'd 
His memory on the longing mind, unmix'd ; 
And more decreed his glory to endure, 
Than all a gold Colossus could secure. 

If thus, fair Jersey, our desiring gaze 
Search for thy form, in vain and mute amaze, 
Amidst those pictured charms, whose loveliness, 
Bright though they be, thine own had render'd less J 
If he, that vain old man, whom truth admits* 
Heir of his father's crown, and of his wits, 
If his corrupted eye, and wither'd heart, 
Could with thy gentle image bear depart ; 
That tasteless shame be his, and ours the grief, 
To gaze on Beauty's band without its chief: 
Yet comfort still one selfish thought imparts, 
We lose the portrait, but preserve our hearts!. 

What can his vaunted gallery now disclose ? 
A garden with all flowers — except the rose ; — 
A fount that only wants its living stream ; — 
A night, with every star, save Dian's beam. 
Lost to our eyes the present forms shall be, 
That turn from tracing them to dream of thee ; 
-- 2 



-H-H* 



*&<- 



•e 



292 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And more on that recall'd resemblance pause, 
Than all he shall not force on our applause. 
Long may thy yet meridian lustre shine, 
"With all that V irtue asks of Homage thine : 
The symmetry of youth — the grace of mien — 
The eye that gladdens — and the brow serene ; 
The glossy darkness of that clustering hair, 
Which shades, yet shows that forehead more than lair I 
Each glance that wins us, and the life that throws 
A spell which will not let our looks repose, 
But turn to gaze again, and find anew 
Some charm that well rewards another view. 
These are not lessen'd, these are still as bright, 
Albeit too dazzling for a dotard's sight ; 
And those must wait till ev'ry charm is gone, 
To please the paltry heart that pleases none : — 
That dull cold sensualist, whose sickly eye 
In envious dimness pass'd thy portrait by ; 
Who rack'd his little spirit to combine 
Its hate of Freedom's loveliness, and thine. 

Augttit, 1814 



"$■ 



ELEGIAC STANZAS 

ON THE DEATH OF SIR PETER PARKER, BART. 

There is a tear for all that die, 

A mourner o'er the humblest grave ; 

But nations swell the funeral cry, 
And Triumph weeps above the bravo. 

For them is Sorrow's purest sigh 
O'er Ocean's heaving bosom sent : 

In vain their bones unburied lie, 
All earth becomes their monument 1 

A tomb is theirs on every page, 

An epitaph on every tongue : 
The present hours, the future age, 

For them bewail, to them belong. 

For them the voice of festal mirth 
Grows hush'd, their name the only sound ; 

While deep Remembrance pours to Wortli 
The goblet's tributary round. 

A theme to crowds that knew them not, 

Lamented by admiring foes, 
Who would not share thoir glorious lot ? 

Who would not die the death they chos3 

And, gallant Parker ! thus enshrined 
Thy life, thy fall, thy fame shall be ; 

And early valour, glowing, find 
A model in thy memory. 



ii 






-&♦ 



TO BELSIIAZZAR. 293 

But there are breasts that bleed with thca 

In woe, that glory cannot quell ; 
And shuddering hear of victory, 

Where oae so dear, so dauntless, fell. 

Where shall they turn to mourn thee less ? 

When cease to hear thy cherish'd name? 
Time cannot teach forgetfulness, 

While Grief's full heart is fed by Fame. 

Alas ! for them, though not for thee, 
They cannot choose but weep the more ; 

Deep for the dead the grief must be, 
Who ne'er gave cause to mourn before. 



TO BELSHAZZAR. 

Belshazzak ' from the banquet turn^ 

Nor in thy hensual fulness fall ; 
Behold ! while yet before thee burn 

The graven words, the glowing wall. 
Many a despot men miscall 

Crown'd and anointed from on high ; 
But thou, the weakest, worst of all — 

Is it not written, thou must die \ 

Go ! dash the roses from thy brow — 

Gray hairs but poorly wreath with them ; 
Youth's garlands misbecome thee now, 

More than thy very diadem, 
Where thou hast tarnish'd every gem : — 

Then throw the worthless bauble by, 
Which, worn by thee, ev'n slaves contemn J 

And learn like better men to die ! 

Oh ! early in the balance weigh' d, 

And ever light of word and worth, 
Whose soul expired ere youth decayed, 

And left thee but a mass of earth. 
To see thee moves the scorner's mirth : 

But tears in Hope's averted eye 
Lament that even thou hadst birth — 

Unfit to govern, live, or die. 

October, 1814 



— s**»gf£n 



* 



o 



HEBREW MELODIES 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

Ths subsequent poems were written at the request of my friend, t'jj 
Ken. Douglas Kinnaird, for a selection of Hebrew Melodies, and have 
besu published, with the music, arranged by Mr. Braharu and Mr. Nathan. 



SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY. 

She walks in beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies : 

And all that's best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes : 

Thus mellow'd to that tender light 
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies. 

One shade the more, one ray the less. 

Had half impair'd the nameless grace, 
Which waves in every raven tress, 

Or softly lightens o'er her face ; 
Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 

How pure, how dear their dwelling-plase. 

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 

But tell of days in goodness spent, 
A mind at peace with all below, 

A heart whose love is innocent ! 



THE HARP THE MONARCH MINSTREL SWEPT 

The harp the monarch minstrel swept, 
The King of men, the loved of Heaven, 

Which Music hallow'd while she wept 
O'er tones her heart of hearts had given, 
Redoubled be her te ars, its chords are riven I 

It soften'd men of iro: mould, 

It gave them virtues not their own ; 

No ear so dull, no soul so cold, 

That felt not, fired not to the tone, 

Till David's lyre grew miehtier than his thrun? ) 



■&* 



X 




The wild gazelle, on Judah's hills, 
Exulting yet may bound. 



Hebrew Melodies 



"4* 



HEBREW MELODIES. 295 

It told the triumphs of our King, 

It wafted glory to our God ; 
It made our gladdon'd valleys ring, 

The cedars bow, the mountains nod ; 

Its sound aspired to heaven and thore abode ! 
Since then, though heard on earth no more, 

Devotion and her daughter Love, 
Still bid the bursting spirit soar 

To sounds that seem as from above, 

In dreams that day's broad light can not ;-emov9. 



IF THAT HIGH WORLD. 

ll-" that high world, which lies beyond 

Our own, surviving Love endears ; 
If there the cherish'd heart be fond, 

The eye the same, except in tears — 
How welcome those untrodden spheres ! 

How sweet this very hour to die ! 
To soar from earth and find all fears, 

Lost in thy light — Eternity ! 

It must be so : 'tis not for self 

That we so tremble on the brink ; 
And striving to o'erleap the gulf, 

Yet cling to Being's severing link. 
Oh ! in that future let us think 

To hold each heart the heart that shares, 
With them the immortal waters drink, 

And soul in soul grow deathless theirs I 



THE WILD GAZELLE. 

The wild gazelle on Judah's hills 

Exulting yet may bound, 
And drink from all the living rills 

That gush on holy ground ; 
Its airy step and glorious eye 
May glance in tameless transport by :~— 

A step as fleet, an eye more bright, 

Hath Judah witness'd there ; 
And o'er her scenes of lost delight 

Inhabitants more fair. 
The cedars wave on Lebanon, 
But Judah's statelier maids are gone ! 

More blest each palm that shades those plains 

Than Israel's seatter'd race ; 
For, taking root, it there remains 

In solitary grace : 



4" 



296 BYRON'S POEMS. 

It cannot quit its place of birth, 
It will not live in other earth. 

But we must wander witheringly, 

In other lands to die ; 
And where our fathers' ashes bo. 

Our own may never lie : 
Our temple hath not left a stone, 
And Mockery sits on Salem's throne. 



♦ 



— *rfc|t 



OH ! WEEP FOR THOSE. 

Oh ! weep for those that wept by Babel's stream, 
Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a dream ; 
Weep for the harp of Judah's broken shell ; 
Mourn — where their God hath dwelt the godless dwell I 

And where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet ? 
And when shall Zion's songs again seem sweet? 
And Judah's melody once more rejoice 
The hearts that leap'd before its heavenly voice ? 

Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast, 
How shall ye flee away and be at rest ! 
The wild-dove hath her nest, the fox his cave, 
Mankind their country — Israel but the grave ! 



ON JORDAN'S BANKS. 

On Jordan's banks the Arab's camels stray, 

On Sion's hill the False One's votaries pray, 

The Baal-adorer bows on Sinai's steep — 

Yet there — even there — God ! Thy thunders sleep J 

There — where Thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone ! 
There — where Thy shadow to Thy people shone ! 
Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire : 
Thyself — none living see and not expire ! 

Oh ! in the lightning let Thy glance appear ; 
Sweep from his shiver'd hand the oppressor's spear ; 
How long by tyrants shall thy land be trod ! 
How long Thy temple worshipless, oh God 1 



JEPHTHA'S DAUGHTER. 

Since our Country, our God— oh, my sire ! 
Demand that thy daughter expire ; 
Since thy triumph was bought by thy vow- 
Strike the bosom that's bared for thee now \ 

And the voice of my mourning is o'er, 
Aaid the mountains behold me no more : 



— O! 



}h *$ 

REBR /■: J V MEL ODIES. 297 

If tire hand that I love lay me low, 
There cannot be pain in the blow 1 

And of this, oh, my father ! be sure — 

That the blood of thy child is as pure 

\s the blessing I beg ere it flow, 

And the last thought that soothes me below. 

Though the virgins of Salem lament, 
Be the judge and the hero unbent ! 
I have won the great battle for thee, 
And my father and country are free ! 

Wben this blood of thy giving hath gush'd, 
When the voice that thou lovest is hush'd, 
Let my memory still be thy pride, 
And forget not I smiled as I died ! 



OH ! SNATCH'D AWAY IN BEAUTY'S BLOOM, 

Oh ! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom, 
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb ; 
But on thy turf shall roses rear 
Their leaves, the earliest of the year ; 
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom : 

And oft by yon blue gushing stream 
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head, 

And feed deep thought with many a dream, 
And lingering pause and lightly tread ; 
Fond wretch ! as if her step disturb'd the dead* 

Away ! ye know that tears are vain, 

That death nor heeds nor hears distress : 

Will this unteach us to complain? 
Or make one mourner weep the less ? 

And thou — who tell'st me to forget, 

Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet. 



MY SOUL IS DARK. 

My soul is dark — Oh ! quickly string 

The harp I yet can brook to bear ; 
And let thy gentle fingers fling 

Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear. 
If in this heart, a hope be dear, 

That sound shall charm it forth agaiu , 
If in these eyes there lurk a tear, 

Twill flow, and cease to burn my braiu 

But bid the strain be wild and deep, 
Nor let thy notes of joy be first : 

X tell thee, minstrel, I must weep, 
Or else this heavy heart will burst ; 



[>+— ^V 



& 4 

298 BVAON'S POEMS. 

For it hath been by sorrow nursed, 
And ached in sleepless silence long ; 

And now 'tis doom'd to know the worst, 
And break at once — or yield to song. 



4 



I SAW THEE WEEP. 

I baw thee weep — the big bright tear 

Came o'er that eye of blue : 
And then methought it did appear 

A violet dropping dew : 
I saw thee smile — the sapphire's blaiso 

Beside thee ceased to shine ; 
It could not match the living rays 

That fill'd that glance of thine. 

As clouds from yonder sun receive 

A deep and mellow dye, 
Which scarce the shade of coming eve 

Can banish from the sky, 
Those smiles unto the moodiest mind 

Their own pure joy impart ; 
Their sunshine leaves a glow behind 

That lightens o'er the heart. 



THY DAYS ARE DONE. 

Thy days are done, thy fame begun ; 

Thy country's strains record 
The triumphs of her chosen Son, 

The slaughters of his sword ; 
The deeds he did, the fields he won, 

The freedom he restored j 

Though thou art fall'n, while we are freo 
Thou shalt not taste of death ! 

The generous blood that flow'd from the 
Disdain'd to sink beneath : 

Within our veins its currents be, 
Thy spirit on our breath ! 

Thy name, our charging hosts along, 

Shall be the battle-word ! 
Thy fall, the theme of choral song 

From virgin voices pour'd ! 
To weep would do thy glory wrong- ; 

Thou sJjsit not be deplored. 



<> 



HEBREW MELODIES. 



299 



SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST BATTLJC 

Warriors and chiefs ! should the shaft or the sword 
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord, 
Heed not the corse, though a king's, in your path ' 
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath ! 

"Tiou who art bearing my buckler and bow v 
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from tn<y foe. 
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet ! 
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet. 

Farewell to others, but never we part, 
Heir to my royalty, son of my heart ! 
Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway, 
Qr kingly the death, which awaits us to-day. 



SAUL. 



Thou whose spell can raise the dead, 

Bid the prophet's form appear. 
"Samuel, raise thy buried head ! 

King, behold the phantom seer ! " 

Earth yawn'd : he stood the centre of a cloud : 

Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud. 

Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye ; 

His hand was wither' d, and his veins were dry ; 

His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter' d there, 

Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare ; 

From lips that moved not, and unbreathing framcr ; 

Like cavern'd winds, the hollow accents came. 

Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak, 

At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke. 

" "Why is my sleep disquieted ? 
Who is he that calls the dead ? 
Is it thou, King ? Behold, 
Bloodless are these limbs, and cold : 
Such are mine ; and such shall be 
Thine to-morrow, when with me : 
Ere the coming day is done, 
Such shalt thou be, such thy son. 
Fare thee well, but for a day, 
Then we mix our mouldering clay. 
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low, 
Pierced by shafts of many a bow ; 
And the falchion by thy side 
To thy heart thy hand shall guide : 
Crownless, breathless, headless fall, 
Son and sire, the house of Saul." 




♦& 



joo BYRON'S POEMS. 



" ALL IS VANITY, SAITH THE PREACHER. 5 

Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine, 

And health and youth possess'd me ; 
My goblets blush 'd from every vine. 

And lovely forms caress'd me ; 
I sunn'd my heart in beauty's eyes, 

And felt my soul grow tender ; 
All earth can give, or mortal prize, 

Was mine of regal splendour. 

I strive to number o'er what days 

Remembrance can discover, 
Which all that life or earth displays 

Would lure me to live over. 
There rose no day, there roll'd no hour 

Of pleasure unembitter'd ; 
And not a trapping deck'd my power, 

That gall'd not while it glitter'd. 

The serpent of the field, by art 

And spells, is won from harming ; 
But tha 1 ; which coils around the heart, 

Oh ! M ho hath power of charming I 
It will not list to wisdom's lore, 

Nor music's voice can lure it ; 
But there it stings for evermore 

The soul that must endure it. 



WHEN COLDNESS WRAPS THIS SUFFERING CLAY 

When coldness wraps this suffering clay, 

Ah ! whither strays the immortal mind ? 
It cannot die, it cannot stray, 

But leaves its darken' d dust behind. 
Then, unembodied, doth it trace 

By steps each planet's heavenly way ? 
Or fill at once the realms of space, 

A thing of eyes, that all survey ? 

Eternal, boundless, undecay'd, 

A thought unseen, but seeing all, 
All, all in earth, or skies display'd, 

Shall it survey, shall it recall : 
Each fainter trace that memory holds 

So darkly of departed years, 
In one broad glance the soul beholds, 

And all, that was, at once appears. 

Before Creation peopled earth, 

Its eye shall roll through chaos back ; 

And where the furthest heaven had birth, 
The spirit trace its rising track, 



■& 



4 



HEBRE W MEL ODJES. 30 1 

And where the future mars or makes, 

Its glance dilate o'er all to be, 
While sun is quonch'd or system breaks, 

Fix'd in its own eternity. 

Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear, 

It lives all passionless and pure : 
An age shall fleet like earthly year ; 

Its years as moments shall endure. 
Away, away, without a wing, 

O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly $ 
A nameless and eternal thing, 

Forgetting what it was to die. 



VISION OF BELSHAZZAR. 

The King was on his throne, 

The Satraps throng'd the hall ; 
A thousand bright lamps shone 

O'er that high festival. 
A thousand cups of gold, 

In Judah deem'd divine — 
Jehovah's vessels hold 

The godless heathen's wine. 

In that same hour and hall, 

The fingers of a hand 
Came forth against tbe wall, 

And wrote as if on sand : 
The fingers of a man ; — 

A solitary hand 
Along tbe letters ran, 

And traced them like a wand. 

The monarch saw, and shook, 

And bade no more rejoice ; 
All bloodless wax'd his look, 

And tremulous his voice. 
** Let the men of lore appear, 

The wisest of the earth, 
And expound the words of fear, 

Which mar our royal mirth." 

Chaldea's seers are good, 

But here they have no skill ; 
And the unknown letters stood 

Untold and awful still. 
And Babel's men of age 

Are wise and deep in lore ; 
But now they were not sage, 

They saw — but knew no monfc 



-!*♦- 



302 



BYRON'S POEMS. 

A captive in the land, 

A stranger and a youth, 
He heard the king's command, 

He saw that writing's truth. 
The lamps around were bright,, 

The prophecy in view ; 
He read it on that night, — 

The morrow proved it true. 

" Belshazzar's gi-avo is mode, 

His kingdom pass'd away, 
He, in the balance weigh'd, 

Is light and wo'Shless clay. 
The shroud, his robe of state, 

His canopy the stone : 
The Mede is at his gate ! 

The Persian on his throne 1" 



SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS. 

Tttn of the sleepless ! melancholy star ! 
Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far, 
That show 1 st the darkness thou canst not dispel, 
How like art thou to joy remember'd well ! 
So gleams the past, the light of other days, 
Which shines, but warms not with its powerless :*&yc ; 
A niirht-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold, 
Distinct, but distant — clear — but oh, how cold ! 



WERE MY BOSOM AS FALSE AS THOU 
DEEM'ST IT TO BE. 

Were my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be, 

I need not have wander'd from far Galilee ; 

It was but abjuring my creed to efface 

The curse which, thou say'st, is the crime of my rtvoo : 

If the bad never triumph, then God is with thee ! 
If the slave only sin, thou art spotless and free ! 
If the Exile on earth is an Outcast on high, 
Live on in thy faith, but in mine I will die. 

I have lost for that faith more than thou canst bestow, 
As the God who permits thee to prosper doth know ; 
In His hand is my heart and my hope — and in thine 
The land and the iiie which for Him I resign. 



-4 



^ 



I1EDKEW MELODIES. 303 



HEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE. 

OH, Mariamne ! now for thee 

The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding : 
Revenge is lost in agony> 

And wild remorse to rage succeeding. 
Oh, Mariamne ! where art thou ? 

Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading. 
Ah I couldst thou — thou wouldst pardon now, 

Though Heaven were to my prayer unheeding. 

A.nd is she dead ? — and did they dare 

Obey my frenzy's jealous raving? 
My wrath but doom'd my own despair : 

The sword that smote her 's o'er me waving. — 
Cut thou art cold, my murder'd love ! 

And this dark heart is vainly craving 
For her who soars alone above, 

And leaves my soul unworthy saving. 

She's gone, who shared my diadem ; 

She sunk, with her my joys entombing ; 
I swept that flower from Judah's stem, 

Whose leaves for me alone were blooming ; 
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell, 

This bosom's desolation dooming ; 
And I have earn'd those tortures well, 

Which unconsumed are still consuming ! 



ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF 
JERUSALEM BY TITUS. 

From the last hill that looks on thy once holy dome 
I beheld thee, oh Sion ! when render'd to Rome : 
'Twas thy last sun went down, and the flames of thy fall 
Flash'd back on the last glance I gave to thy wall. 

I look'd for thy temple, I look'd for my home, 

And forgot for a' moment my bondage to come ; 

I beheld but the death-fire that fed on thy fane, 

And the fast-fetter'd hands that made vengeance in vaix>. 

On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed 
Had reflected the last beam of day as it blazed : 
While I stood on the height, and beheld the decline 
Of the rays from the mountain that shone on thy shrine. 

And now on that mountain I stood on that day, 
But I mark'd not the twilight beam melting away ; 
Oh ! would that the lightning had glared in its stead, 
And the thunderbolt burst on the conqueror's head 1 



^ *. 

304 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But tiie cods of the pagan shall never proiane 
The shrine where Jehovah disdain'd not to reign ; 
And scatter'd and scorn'd as Thy people may be, 
Our worship, oh Father, is only for Thee. 



BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT DOWN AND 

WEPT. 

We sate down and wept by the waters 

Of Babel, a.id thought of the day 
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters, 

Made Salem's high places his pre}' ; 
And ye, oh her desolate daughters ! 

Were scatter'd all weeping away. 

While sadly we gazed on the river 

Which roll'd on in freedom below, 
They demanded the song ; but, oh never 

That triumph the stranger shall know ! 
May this right hand be wither'd for ever, 

Ere it string our high harp for the foe ! 

On the willow that harp is suspended, 

Oh Salem ! its sound should be free ; 
And the hour when thy glories were ended 

But left me that token of thee : 
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended 

With the voice of the spoiler by me ! 



THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB. 

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, 
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ; 
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, 
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. 

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, 
That host with their banners at sunset were seen : 
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, 
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown. 

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, 
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd ; 
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill, 
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still I 

And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide, 
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride • 
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, 
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating sm f. 

And there lay the rider distorted and pale, 
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail ; 
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, 
The lances unllftecL the trumpet unblown. 



*¥ 



-»-■* 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 305 

And the widows of Ashur are loud in tlicir wall, 
And the idols are broke in the tomplo of Baal ; 
And the might of the Gontile, unsmote by the sword, 
Hath meltod like snow in the glanoe of the Lord ! 



A Si'lKIT PASSED BEFORE ME. 

FROM JOB. 

A spirit pass'd before me : I beheld 

The face of immortality unveil'd — 

Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine — ■ 

Ana there it stood, — all formless — but divh:<i : 

Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake ; 

And as my damp hair stiffen d, thus it spake : 

" Is man more just than God ? Is man more pure 
Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure ? 
Creatures of clay — vain dwellers in the dust ! 
The moth survives you, and are ye more just? 
Things of a day ! you wither ere the night. 
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light 1" 



— »--»o»^fe*: . 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 

There be none of Beauty's daughters 

With a magic like thee ; 
And like music on the waters 

Is thy sweet voice to me : 
When, as if its sound were causing 
The charmed ocean's pausing, 
The waves lie still and gleaming, 
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming. 

And the midnight moon is weaving 
Her bright chain o'er the deep ; 

Whose breast is gently heaving, 
As an infant's asleep : 

So the spirit bows before thee, 

To listen and adore thee ; 

With a full but soft emolion, 

Like the swell of Summer's ooi»j\. 



$♦ 



♦G 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



January 22, 181<\ 



JOHN HOBHOUSE, ESQ., 

THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED, 

BY BIS 

FRIEND. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

" Thk grand army of the Turks (in 1716), under the Prime Vizier, to 
ipen to themselves a way into the heart of the Morea, and to form the 
MP^e of Napoli di Romania, the most considerable place in all that coun- 
try,* thought it best, bi the first place, to attack Corinth, upon which they 
made several storms. The garrison being weakened, and the governor 
seeing it was impossible to hold out against so mighty a force, thought it 
fit to beat a par««y : but while they were treating about the articles, one 
of the magazines in the Turkish army, wherein they had six hundred 
barrels of powder, blew up by accident, whereby six or seven hundred 
men were killed; which so enraged the infidels, that they would not grant 
any capitulation, but stormed the place with so much fury, that they took 
•t. and put most of the garrison, with Signior Minotti, the governor, *? 
She sword. The rest, with Antonio Bembo, proveditor extraordinary, wcd- 
rr.hde prisoners of war." — History of the Turks, vol. iii. p. 151. 



* Napoli <M Rom*r.ia Is not now the most considerable place In the Morea, bnt 
Tnpctotza, where the Pacha resides, and maintains his government. Napoli is aecw 
Aigoa. I visited all *i>ree in 1810-11 ; and, in the course of journeying through the country 
fioit my f}»it arrival In 1809, I crowed the Isthmus eight times in my w»y from Att:^& to 
the HoreA over the mountains, or in the other direction, when passing from the Qulf of 
Athens to that of Lepa&to. Both the routes are picturesque and beautiful, though very 
different : tbat by sea has more sameness ; bnt the voyage being always within sight <S 
b'd, and often very near it, present* many attractive views of the islands Seltfiit^ 
fifrbia, Poro, fc-„ axu* tW «3*et of the cottinont. — B. 



*. 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH. 



Many a vanish'd year and ago, 

And tempest's breath, and battle's rage, 

Have swept o'er Corinth ; yet she stand? 

A fortress form'd to Freedom's hands. 

The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's ahock 

Have left untouch'd her hoary rock, 

The keystone of a land, which still, 

Though fall'n, looks proudly on that Ml!, 

The landmark to the double tide 

That ; urpling rolls on either side, 

As if their waters chafed to meet, 

Yet pause and crouch beneath her feet* 

But could the blood before her shed 

Since first Timoleon's brother bled, 

Or baffled Persia's despot fled, 

Arise from out the earth which drank 

The stream of slaughter as it sank, 

That sang\Jne ocean would o'erflew 

Her isthmus idly spread below : 

Or could the bones of all the slain, 

Who perish'd there, be piled again, 

That rival pyramid would rise 

Mure mountain-like, through those clear skies, 

Than yon tower-capp'd Acropolis, 

Which seems the very clouds to kiss. 

n. 

On dun Cithsron's ridge appears 
The gleam of twice ten thousand spearg ; 
And do vn ward to the Isthmian plain, 
From shjro to shore of either main, 
The tent is pitch'd, the crescent shines 
Along the Moslem's leaguering lines ; 
And the dusk Spahi's bands advance 
Beneath each bearded pacha's glanoe : 
And far and wide as eye can reach 
The turban'd cohorts throng the beach \ 
And there the Arab's camel kneels, 
And there his steed the Tartar wheels r t 
The Turcoman hath left his herd,* 
The sabre round his loins to gird ; 

tt* life of toe Turrorans is wandering and patriarchal : they dwell in tents 

x 2 



*&- 



< 



308 BYRON'S FOE MS. 

And there the volleying thunders pour, 
Till waves grow smoother to the roar. 
The trench is dug, the cannon's breath 
Wings the far hissing globe of deatn ; 
Fast whirl the fragments from the wall. 
Which crumbles with the ponderous ball \ 
And from that wall the foe replies, 
O'er dusty plain and smoky skios, 
With fires that answer fast and well 
The summons of the Infidel. 

1TI. 

But near and nearest to the wall 
Of those who wish and work its fall, 
With deeper skill In war's black art 
Than Othman's sons, and high of heart 
As any chief that ever stood 
Triumphant in the fields of blood ; 
From post to post, and deed to deed. 
Fast spurring on his reeking steed, 
Where sallying ranks the trench assail, 
And make the foremost Moslem quad ; 
Or where the battery, guarded wed, 
Remains as yet impregnable, 
Alighting cheerly to inspire 
The soldier slackening in his fire ; 
The first and freshest of the host 
Which Stamboul's sultan there can boast, 
To guide the follower o'er the field, 
To point the tube, the lance to wield, 
Or whirl around the bickering blade }— 
Was Alp, the Adrian renegade ! 

IV. 

From Venice — once a race of worth 

His gentle siroe — he drew his birth ; 

But late an exile from her shore, 

Against his countrymen he bore 

The arms they tbUgnt to bear ; and nov 

The turban girt his shaven brow. 

Through many a change had Corinth po66<4 

With Greece to Venice' rule at last ; 

And here, before her walls, with those 

To Greece and Venice equal foes, 

He stood a foe, with all the zeal 

Which young and £ery converts feel, 

Within whose heated bosom throngs 

The memory of a thousand wrongs. 

To him had Venice ceased to be 

Her ancient civic boast — "the Free ;" 

And in the palace of St. Mark 

Unnamed accusers in the dark 

Within the " Lion's mouth" had plao^d 

A charge against him un effaced : 



V* 



t-£ 






THE SIEGE OE CORINTH. 3°9 

He fled in time, and saved his life, 
To waste his future years in strife, 
That taught his land how great her loss 
In him who triumph'd o'er the Cross, 
'Gainst which he rear'd the Crescent high. 
And battled to avenge or dio. 

v. 

Coumourgi — he whose closing scene * 
Adorn'd the triumph of Eugene, 
"When on Carlowitz' bloody plain, 
The last and mightiest of the slain, 
He sank, regretting not to die, 
But cursed the Christian's victory — 
Coumourgi — can his glory cease, 
That latest conqueror of Greece, 
Till Christian hands to Greece restore 
The freedom Venice gave of yore ? 
A hundred yearn huve roll'd away 
Since he refix'd the Moslem's sway, 
And now he led the Mussulman, 
And gave the guidance of the van 
To Alp, who well repaid the trust 
By cities levell'd with the dust ; 
And proved, by many a deed of death, 
How firm his heart in novel faith. 

VI. 

The walls grew weak ; and fast and hot 

Against them pour'd the ceaseless shot, 

With unabating fury sent 

From battery to battlement ; 

And thunder-like the pealing din 

Bose from each heated culverin ; 

And here and there some crackling dome 

Was fired before the exploding bomb : 

And as the fabric sank beneath 

The shattering shell's volcanic breath, 

In red and wreathing columns flash'd 

The flame, as loud the ruin crash' d, 

Or into countless meteors driven, 

Its earth-stars melted into heaven ; 

Whose clouds that day grew doubly dun, 

Impervious to the hidden sun, 

With volumed smoke that slowly grew 

To one wide sky of sulphurous hue. 

• All Coumourgi, the favourite of three sultans, and Grand Vizier to Achmet TEL, aftev 
recovering Peloponnesus from the Venetians in one campaign, was mortally wounded i« 
the next, against the Germans, at the battle of Peterwaradin (in the plain of Carlowitij, 
in Hungary, endeavouring to rally his guards. He died of his wounds next day. His Ixrt 
order was the decapitation of General Breuner, and some other German prisoners ; tmi 
his last words, " Ob that I could thus serve all the Christian dogs I " a speech and act not 
unlike one of Caligula. He was a young man of great ambition and unbounded pre- 
iumption : on being told that Prince Eugene, then opposed to Mm. " was a yreat general/ 
be oaid, " I shall become a neater, and at his expense." — B 



<P 



*& 



■++ 



3 1 o BYRON'S POEMS. 

vn. 

But not fcr vengeance, long delayed, 

Alone, did Alp, the renegade, 

The Moslem warriors sternly teach 

His skill to pierce the promised breaoh. '. 

Within those walls a maid was pent 

H is hope would win, without consent 

Of that inexorable sire, 

Whose heart refused him in its ire, 

When Alp, beneath his Christian narao, 

Her virgin hand aspired to claim. 

In happier mood, and earlier time, 

While unimpeach'd for traitorous crizn^ 

Gayest in gondola or hall, 

He glitter'd through the Carnival ; 

And tuned the softest serenade 

That e'er on Adria's waters play'd 

At midnight to Italian maid. 

VI u. 

And many deem'd her heart was won; 

For sought by numbers, given to nono, 

Had young Francesca's hand remain'd 

Still by the church's bonds unchain'd : 

And when the Adriatic bore 

Lanciotto to the Paynim shore, 

Her wonted smiles were seen to fail. 

And pensive wax'd the maid and pule ; 

More constant at confessional, 

More rare at masque and festival ; 

Or seen at such, with downcast eyes, 

Which conquer'd hearts they ceased to pi^ze ; 

With listless look she seems to gaze ; 

With humbler care her form arrays ; 

Her voice less lively in the song ; 

Iler step, though light, less fleet among 

The pairs, on whom the Morning's glanoo 

Breaks, yet unsated with the dance. 

IX. 

Sent by the state to guard the land, 
(Which, wrested from the Moslem's hand, 
While Sobieski tamed his pride 
By Buda's wall and Danube's side, 
The chiefs of Venice wrung away 
From Patra to Euboea's bay,) 
Minotti held in Corinth's towers 
The Doge's delegated powers, 
While yet the pitying eye of Peace 
Smiled o'er her long-forgotten Greece : 
And ere that faithless truce was broke 
Which freed her from the unchristian yciujj 
With him his gentle daughter came ; 
Nor tLere, since Menelaus' &xme 



*(>•- 



THE SIEGE 01- CORINTH* 311 

Forsook bor lord and land, to provo 
What woes await on lawless love, 
Had fairer form adorn'd the shore 
Than she, tho matchless stranger, borow 

The wall is rent, the ruins yawn, 
And, with to-morrow's earliest dawn, 
O'er the disjointed mass shall vault 
The foremost of the fierce assault. 
The bands are rank'd ; the chosen vaa 
Of Tartar and of Mussulman, 
The full of hope, misnamed "forlorn," 
Who hold the thought of death in scorn, 
And win their way with falchion's force, 
Or pave the path with many a corse, 
O'er which the following brave may rise, 
Their stepping-stone — the last who dies I 

XI. . 

'Tis midnight : on the mountains brown 

The cold round moon shines deeply down ; 

Blue roll the waters, blue the sky 

Spreads like an ocean hung on high, 

Bespangled with those isles of light, 

So wildly, spiritually bright ; 

Who ever gazed upon them shining, 

And turn'd to earth without repining, 

Nor wish'd for wings to flee away, 

And mix with their eternal ray ? 

The waves on either shore lay there, 

Calm, clear, and azure as the air : 

And scarce their foam the pebbles shoolt. 

But murmur'd meekly as the brook. 

The winds were pillow'd on the waves ; 

The banners droop'd along their staves, 

And, as they fell around them furling, 

Above them shone the crescent curling ; 

And that deep silence was unbroke, 

Save where the watch his signal spoke 

Save where the steed neigh'd oft and shrlt l 1 

And echo answer'd from the hill, 

And the wide hum of that wild host 

Rustled like leaves from coast to coast, 

As rose the Muezzin's voice in air 

In midnight call to wonted prayer ; 

It rose, that chanted mournful strain. 

Like some lone spirit's o'er the plain : 

'Twas musical, but sadly sweet, 

Such as when winds and harp-stringa meet, 

And take a long unmeasured tone. 

To mortal minstrelsy unknown. 

It seem'd to those within the wall 

A cry prophetic of their fall : 



$• 



*. 



4 



312 £ YR ON 'S TO EMS. 

ft struck even the besieger's ear 
With something ominous and drear, 
An undefined and sudden thrill, 
Which makes the heart a moment still, 
Then beat with quicker pulse, ashamed 
Of that strange sense its silence framed j 
Such as a sudden passing-bell 
Wakes, though but for a stranger's knelL 

XII. 
The tent of Alp was on the shore ; 
The sound was hush'd, the prayer was 6m • 
The watch was set, the night-round made^ 
All mandates issued and obey'd : 
'Tis but another anxious night, 
I lis pains the morrow may requite 
With all revenge and love can pay, 
In guerdon for their long delay. 
Few hours remain, and he hath need 
Of rest, to nerve for many a deed 
Of slaughter ; but within his soul 
The thoughts like troubled waters roll. 
He stood alone among the host ; 
Not his the loud fanatic boast 
To plant the crescent o'er the cross, 
Or risk a life with little loss, 
Secure in Paradise to be 
By Houris loved immortally : 
Nor his, what burning patriots feel, 
The stern exaltedness of zeal, 
Profuse of blood, untired in toil, 
When battling on the parent soiL 
He stood alone — a renegade 
Against the country he betray* d ; 
He stood alone amidst his band, 
Without a trusted heart or hand : 
They follow'd him, for he was brave, 
And great the fcpoil he got and gave ; 
They crouch'd to him, for he had skill 
To warp and wield the vulgar will : 
But still his Cnnstian origin 
With them was little less than sin. 
They envied even the faithless fame 
He earn'd beneath a Moslem name ; 
Since he, their mightiest chief, had bees. 
In youth a bitter Nazarene. 
They did not know how pride can stoop 
When baffled feelings withering droop ; 
They did net know how hate can burn 
1 n hearts ohgo changed from soft to stem J 
Nor all the false and fatal zeal 
The convert of revenge can feel. 
He ruled them — man may rule the 
By ever daring t>) be first : 



$ 



£ 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH. 313 

Bo lions o'er the jackal sway ; 
The jackal points, he fells the prey, 
Then on the vulgar yelling press, 
To gorge the relics of success. 

XIII. 

His head grows fever* d, aad his pulse 
The quick successive throbs convulse ; 
In vain from side to side he throws 
His form, in courtship of repose ; 
Or if he dozed, a sound, a start 
Awoke him with a sunken heart. 
The turban on his hot brow press'd, 
The mail weigh'd lead-like on his breast, 
Though oft and long beneath its weight 
Upon his eyes had slumber sate, 
Without or couch or canopy, 
Except a rougher field and sky 
Than now might yield a warrior's bed. 
Than now along the heaven was spread 
He could not rest, he could not stay 
Within his tent to wait for day, 
But walk'd him forth along the sand, 
Where thousand sleepers strew' d the strand. 
What pillow'd them ? and why should he 
More wakeful than the humblest be ? 
Since more their peril, worse their toil, 
And yet they fearless dream of spoil ; 
While he alone, where thousands pass'd 
A night of sleep, perchance their last, 
In sickly vigil wander'd on, 
And envied all he gazed upon. 

XIV. 

He felt his soul become more light 
Beneath the freshness of the night. 
Cool was the silent sky, though calm, 
And bathed his brow with airy balm : 
Behind, the camp — before him lay, 
In many a winding creek and bay, 
Lepanto's gulf ; and, on the brow 
Of Delphi's hill, unshaken snow, 
High and eternal, such as shone 
Through thousand summers brightly gone, 
Along the gulf, the mount, the clime ; 
It will not melt, like man, to time : 
Tyrant and slave are swept away, 
Less form'd to wear before the ray ; 
But that white veil, the lightest, frailest, 
Which on the mighty mount thou hailesfc, 
While tower and tree are torn and rent^ 
Shines o'er its craggy battlement 5 
In form a peak, in height a cloud, 
Tn texture like a hovering shroud, 



*^* 



♦4> 



-»+j 



314 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Thus high by parting Freedom spread, 
As from her fond abode she fled, 
And lingered on the spot, where long 
Her prophet spirit spake in song. 
Oh ! still her step at moments falters 
O'er wither'd fields and ruin'd altars, 
And fain would wake, in souls too brokeo, 
By pointing to each glorious token. 
But vain her voice, till better days 
Dawn in those yet remember'd rays, 
Which shone upon the Persian flying, 
And saw the Spartan smile in dying. 

XV. 

Not mindless of these mighty times 
Was Alp, despite his flight and crimes ; 
And through this night, as on he wandor*dj 
And o'er the past and present ponder'd, 
And thought upon the glorious dead 
Who there in better cause had bled, 
He felt how faint and feebly dim 
The fame that could accrue to him, 
Who cheer'd the band, and waved the strori, 
A traitor in a turban'd horde ; 
And led them to the lawless siege, 
Whose best success were sacrilege. 
Not so had those his fancy number' d, 
The chiefs whose dust around him slumber* <1 j 
Their phalanx marshall'd on the plain, 
Whose bulwarks were not then in vain. 
They fell devoted, but undying ; 
The very gale their names seem'd sighing : 
The waters murmur' d of their name ; 
The woods were peopled with their famo ; 
The silent pillar, lone and gray, 
Claim'd kindred with their sacred clay ; 
Their spirits wrapt the dusky mountain, 
Their memory sparkled o'er the fountain ; 
The meanest rill, the mightiest river, 
Roll'd mingling with their fame for ever. 
Despite of every yoke she bears, 
That land is glory's still, and theirs ! 
'Tis still a watch-word to the earth : 
When man would do a deed of worth, 
He points to Greece, and turns to -tread, 
So sanction 'd, on the tyrant's head : 
He looks to her, and rashes on 
Where life is lost, or freedom won. 

XVI. • 

Still by the shore Alp mutely mused, 
And woo'd the freshness night diffused. 



♦O 



* 



THE SIEGE Of CORINTH 315 

There shrinks no ebb in that tideiess sea,* 

Which changeless rolls eternally ; 

So that wildest of waves, in their angriest mood, 

Scarce break on the bounds of the land for a rood ; 

Aud the powerless moon beholds them flow, 

Heedless if she come or go : 

Calm or high, in main or bay, 

On their course she hath no sway. 

The rock unworn its base doth bare, 

And looks o'er the surf, but it comes not there ; 

And the friuge of the foam may be seen below, 

On the line that it left long ages ago : 

A smooth short space of yellow sand 

Between it and the greener land. 

He wander* d on, along the beach, 

Till within the range of a carbine's reach 

Of the leaguer'd wall ; but they saw him not, 

Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot ? 

Did traitors lurk in the Christians' hold ? 

Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts wox'd cold ! 

I know not in sooth ; but from yonder wall 

There flash'd no fire, and there hiss'd no ball, 

Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown, 

That flank'd the sea-ward gate of the town ; 

Though he heard the sound, and could almost tell 

The sullen words of the sentinel, 

As his measured step on the stone below 

Clank'd, as he paced it to and fro ; 

And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall 

Hold o'er the dead their carnival, 

Gorging and growling o'er carcass and limb ; 

They were too busy to bark at him ! 

From a Tartar's skull they had stripp'd the flesh, 

As ye peel the fig when its fruit is fresh ; 

And their white tusks crunch'd o'er the whiter skull, t 

As it slipp'd through their jaws, when their edge grew dulh 

As they lazily mumbled the bones of the dead, 

When they scarce could rise from the spot where they fed ; 

So well had they broken a lingering fast 

With those who had fall'n for that night's repast. 

And Alp knew, by the turbans that roll'd on the sand, 

The foi emost of these were the best of his band : 

Crimson and green were the shawls of their wear, 

And each scalp had a single long tuft of hair, X 

All the rest were shaven and bare. 

* The reader need hardly be reminded that there are no perceptible tides in th« 
Jfiedi terranean. — B. 

t This spectacle I have seen, such as described, beneath the wall of the Seraglio at 
Constantinople, in the little cavities worn by the Bosphorus in tbe rock, a narrow terrace 
of which projects between the wall and the water. I think the fact is also mentioned in 
Hobhouse's Travels. The bodies were probably those of some refractory Janizaries. — B. 

I This tuft, or lcng lock, is left, froin a superstition that Mahomet will draw them into 
Farad** by it— B. 



-s? 



316 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The scalps were in the wild dog's maw, 

The hair was tangled round his jaw. 

But close by the shore, on the edge of the gulf, 

There sat a vulture flapping a wolf, 

Who had stolen from the hills, but kept away, 

Scared by the dogs, from the human prey ; 

But he seized on his share of a steed that lay, 

Pick'd by the birds, on the sands of the bay. 

XVII. 

Alp turn'd him from the sickening sight : 

Never had shaken his nerves in fight ; 

But he better could brook to behold the dying, 

Deep in the tide of their warm blood lying, 

Scorch 'd with the death-thrist, and writhing in vain, 

Than the perishing dead who are past all pain. 

There is something of pride in the perilous hour, 

Whate'er be the shape in which death may lower ; 

For Fame is there to say who bleeds, 

And Honour's eye on daring deeds ! 

But when all is past, it is humbling to tread 

O'er the weltering field of the tombless dead, 

And see worms of the earth, and fowls of the air, 

Beasts of the forest, all gathering there ; 

All regarding man as their prey, 

All rejoicing in his decay. 

xvm. 

There is a temple in ruin stands, 

Fashion'd by long-forgotten hands ; 

Two or three columns, and many a stone, 

Marble and granite, with grass o'ergrown ! 

Out upon Time ! it will leave no more 

Of the things to come than the things before ? 

Out upon time ! who for ever will leave 

But enough of the past for the future to grieve 

O'er that which hath been, and o'er that which must boj 

What we have seen, our sons shall see ; 

Remnants of things that have pass'd away, 

Fragments of stone, rear'd by creatures of clay 1 

XIX. 

He sate him down at a pillar's base, 
And pass'd hia hand athwart his face ; 
Like one in dreary musing mood, 
Declining was his attitude ; 
His head was drooping on his breuSt, 
Fever'd, throbbing, and oppress'd ; 
And o'er his brow, so downward bent, 
Oft his beating fingers went, 
I lurriedly, as you may seo 
Your own run over the ivory key, 
Ere the measured tone is taken 
By the chords you would awaken. 



4 



-t- 



4 



H 

THE SIEGE OF COR I MIL 317 

There he sate all heavily, 

As he heard the night-wind sigh. 

Was it the wind, through some hollow stone,* 

Sent that soft and tender moan ? 

He lifted his head, and he look'd on the sea, 

But it was unrippled as glass may be ; 

He lo»k'd on the long grass — it waved not a blada 5 

How was that gentle sound convey'd ? 

He look'd to the banners — each flag lay still, 

So did the leaves on Cithaeron's bill, 

And he felt not a breath come over his cheek ; 

What did that sudden sound bespeak? 

He turn'd to the left — is he sure of sight 1 

There sate a lady, youthful and bright I 

XX. 

He started up with more of fear 

Than if an armed foe were near. 

" God of my fathers ! what is here ? 

Who art thou, and wherefore sent 

So near a hostile armament ? " 

His trembling hands refused to sign 

The cross he deem'd no more divine : 

He had resumed it in that hour, 

But conscience wrung away the power. 

He gazed — he saw : he knew the face 

Of beauty, and the form of grace ; 

It was Francesca by his side, 

The maid who might have been his bride ! 

The rose was yet upon her cheek, 

But mellow'd with a tenderer streak : 

Where was the play of her soft lips fled ? 

Gone was the smile that enliven' d their red. 

The ocean's calm within their view, 

Beside her eye had less of blue ; 

But like that cold wave it stood still, 

And its glance, though clear, was chill. 

Around her form a thin robe twining, 

Nought conceal'd her bosom shining j 

Through the parting of her hair, 

Floating darkly downward there, 

Her rounded arm showed white and bare : 

And ere yet she made reply, 

Once she raised her hand on high ; 

It was so wan, and transparent of hue, 

You might have seen the moon shine through, 

• 1 must here acknowledge a close, though unintentional, resemblance In these tw*lT« 
lines to a passage in an unpublished poem of Mr. Coleridge, caUed " Christabel." It r^i 
not till After these lines were written that I heard that wild and singularly original and 
beautiful poem recited ; and the MS. of that production I never saw till very recently, by 
the kindness of Mr. Coleridge himself, who, I hope, is convinced that I have not been a 
wilful plagiarist. The original idea undoubtedly pertains to Mr. Coleridge, whoue poem 
has been composed above fourteen years. Let me conclude by a hope that hn will not 
longer delay the publication of a production, of which I can only add my mite of appro 
Nation to the applause of fir more competent Judges. — -B. 



4* 



w^- 



+4 



318 B IRON'S POEMS. 

XXI. 

" I come from my rest to him I love be*t, 

That I may be happy, and he may be biest. 

I have pass'd the guards, the gate, the wall ; 

Sought thee in safety through foes and all. 

Tis said the lion will turn and flee 

From a maid in the pride of her purity ; 

And the Power on high, that can shield the good 

Thus from the tyrant of the wood, 

Hath extended its mercy to guard me as well 

From the hands of the leaguering infidel. 

I come — and if I come in vain, 

Never, oh never, we meet again ! 

Thou hast done a fearful deed 

In falling away from thy father's creo<) : 

But dash that turban to earth, and sign 

The sign of the cross, and for ever be mine ; 

Wring the black drop from thy heart, 

A.nd to-morrow unites us no more to part." 

u And where should our bridal couch be spread ? 

In the midst of the dying and the dead ( 

For to-morrow we give to the slaughter and fame 

The sons and the shrines of the Christian name. 

None, save thou and thine, I've sworn, 

Shall be left upon the morn : 

But thee will I bear to a lovely spot, 

Where our hands shall be join'd, and our sorrow foigoc. 

There thou yet shalt be my bride, 

When once again I've quell'd the pride 

Of Venice ; and her hated race 

Have felt the arm they would debase, 

Scourge, with a whip of scorpions, those 

Whom vice and envy made my foes." 

Upon his hand she laid her own — 

Light was the touch, but it thrill'd to the bone, 

And shot a chillness to his heart, 

Which fix'd him beyond the power to start. 

Though slight was that grasp so mortal cold, 

He could not loose him from its hold ; 

But never did clasp of one so dear 

Strike on the pulse with such feeling of fear, 

As those thin fingers, long and white, 

Froze through his blood by their touch that nurhU. 

The feverish glow of his brow was gone, 

And his heart sank so still that it felt like stone, 

As he look'd on the face, and beheld its hue, 

So deeply changed from what he knew : 

Fair but faint — without the ray 

Of mind, that made each feature play 

Like sparkling waves on a sunny day ; 

And her motionless lips lay still as death, 

And her words came forth without her breath, 



-e- 



4\ 



* 



THE SIEGE OE CORINTH. 319 

And there rose not a heave o'er her bosom's swell. 

And there seem'd not a pulse in her veins to dwoll. 

Though her eye shone out, yet the lids wero iix'd, 

And the glance that it gave was wild and unniix'd 

With aught of change, as the eyes may seem 

Of the restless who walk in a troubled dream ; 

Like the figures on arras, that gloomily glare, 

Stirr'd by the breath of the wintry air, 

So seen by the dying lamp's fitful light, 

Lifeless, but life-like, and awful to sight ; 

As they seem, through the dimness, about to come do*>t 

From the shadowy wall where their images frown ; 

Fearfully flitting to and fro, 

As the gusts on the tapestry come and go. 

" If not for love of me be given 
Thus much, then, for the love of heaven,- 
Again I say — that turban tear 
From off thy faithless brow, and swear 
Thine injured country's sons to spare, 
Or thou art lost ; and never shalt see — 
Not earth — that's past — but heaven or me. 
If this thou dost accord, albeit 
A heavy doom 'tis thine to meet, 
That doom shall half absolve thy sin, 
And mercy's gate may receive thee within : 
But pause one moment more, and take 
The curse of Him thou didst forsake ; 
And look once more to heaven, and see 
Its love for ever shut from thee. 
There is a light cloud by the moon* — 
'Tis passing, and will pass full soon — 
If, by the time its vapoury sail 
Hath ceased her shaded orb to veil, 
Thy heart within thee is not changed, 
Then God and man are both avenged ; 
Dark will thy doom be, darker still 
Thine immortality of ill." 

Alp look'd to heaven, and saw on high 

The sign she spake of in the sky ; 

But his heart was swoll'n, and turn'd aside, 

By deep interminable pride. 

This first false passion of his breast 

Boll'd like a torrent o'er the rest. 

He sue for mercy ! He dismay'd , 

By wild words of a timid maid ! 

• I have been told that the Idea expressed from lines 598 to 603 has been adailred fey 
those whose approbation is valuable. I am glad of it : but it 1b not original — at le&it not 
mine ; it may be found much better expressed in pages 182, 183, 184 of the English version 
ef " Vathek " (I forget the precise page of the French), a work to which I have before. 
referred ; and nevei recur to, or read, without a renewal of gratification. — B. 

There Is, likewise, something like the same Idea, and bearing a comparison with botfc 
In " Corinne." 



■wA* 



4 



320 BYAON'S POEMS. 

He, wrong' d by Venice, vow to save 

Her sons, devoted to the grave ! 

No — though that cloud were thunder's worst* 

And charged to crush him — let it burst 1 

He look'd upon it earnestly, 

Without an accent of reply ; 

Be watch'd it passing ; it is flown : 

Full on his eye the clear moon shone, 

A.nd thus he spake : — " Whate'er my fate, 

[ am no changeling — 'tis too late : 

The reed in storms may bow and quiver, 

rhen rise again ; the tree must shiver. 

What Venice made me, I must be, 

Her foe in all, save love to thee : 

But thou art safe : oh, fly with me !" 

He turn'd, but she is gone ! 

Nothing is there but the column stone. 

Hath she sunk in the earth, or melted in air T 

He saw not — he knew not ; but nothing is ther*». 

XXII. 

The night is past, and shines the sun, 
As if that morn were a jocund one. 
Lightly and brightly breaks away 
The Morning from her mantle gray, 
And the Noon will look on a sultry day. 
Hark to the trump, and the drum, 
A.nd the mournful Bound of the barbarous horn, 
A.nd the flap of the banners, that flit as they're borno, 
And the neigh of the steed, and the multitude's bum, 
And the clash, and the shout, " They come, they ooise ! " 
The horsetails are pluck'd from the ground, and the sword * 
From its sheath ; and they form, and but wait for the word- 
Tartar, and Spahi, and Turcoman, 
Strike your tents, and throng to the van ■ 
Mount ye, spur ye, skirr the plain, 
That the fugitive may flee in vain, 
When he breaks from the town ; and none escape, 
*L.ged or young, in the Christian shape ; 
While your fellows on foot, in a fiery mass, 
Hood stain the breach through which they pass, 
f he steeds are all bridled, and snort to the rein ; 
Curved is each neck, and flowing each mane ; 
White is the foam of their champ on the bit : 
The spears are uplifted ; the matches are lit ; 
The cannon are pointed, and ready to roar, 
And crush the wall they have crumbled before : 
Form3 in his phalanx each Janizar ; 
A.lp at their head ; his right arm is baio, 
80 is ths blade of his scimitar ; 

• T1m horaetail, flT»^ uron a lanre, » Pacna's iticiapd. — A 



V* 



4 



THE SiEGE 01- CORINTH. 321 

The khan and the pachas are all at thoir post ; 

The vizior himself at the head of the host. 

When the culveriu's signal is fired, then on ; 

Leave not in Corinth a living one — 

A priest at her altars, a chief in her halls, 

A. hearth in hor mansions, a stone on her walla. 

Cod and the prophet — Alia flu ! 

Up to the skies with that wild halloo ! 

" There the breach lies for passage, the laddor to scala ; 
And your hands on your sabres, and how should ye f*ul ? 
He who first downs with the red cross may crave 
His heart's dearest wish ; let him ask it and have 1 " 

Thus utter'd Coumourgi, the dauntless vizier ; 
The reply was the brandish of sabre and spear, 
And the shout of fierce thousands in joyous ire :— 
Silence — hark to the signal — fire ! 

XXIII. 

As the wolves, that headlong go 

On the stately buffalo, 

Though with fiery eyes, and angry roar, 

And hoofs that stamp, and horns that gora, 

He tramples on earth, or tosses on high 

The foremost, who rush on his strength but to dls ; 

Thus against the wall they went, 

Thus the first were backward bent ; 

Many a bosom, sheathed in brass, 

Strew'd the earth like broken glass, 

Shiver'd by the shot, that tore 

The ground whereon they moved no mora : 

Even as they fell, in files they lay, 

Like the mower's grass at the close of day, 

When his work is done on the levell'd plain ; 

Such was the fall of the foremost slain. 

XXIV. 

As the spring-tides, with heavy splash, 
From the cliffs invading dash 
Huge fragments, sapp'd by the ceaseless flow, 
Till white and thundering down they go, 
like the avalanche's snow 
On the Alpine vales below ; 
Thus at length, outbreathed and worn, 
Corinth's sons were downward borne 
By the long and oft-renew'd 
Charge of the Moslem multitude. 
In firmness they stood, and in masses they fell, 
Keap'd, by the host of the infidel, 
Hand to hand, and foot to foot : 
Nothing there, save death, was mute ; 
Stroke, and thrust, and flash, and cry 
For quarter, or fo? victory, 
Y 






322 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Mingle there with the volleying thunder, 

Which makes the distant cities wonder 

How the sounding battle goes, 

If with them, or for their foes ; 

[f they must mourn, or may rejoice 

in that annihilating voice, 

Which pierces the deep hills through and thrcregi 

With an echo dread and nsw : 

You might have heard it, on thit day, 

O'er Salamis and Megara ; 

(We have heard the hearers say,) 

Even unto Pireus bay. 

UV. 

From the point of encountering blades to the ktt. 

Sabres and swords with blood were gilt ; 

But the rampart is won, and the spoil begun, 

And all but the after-carnage done. 

Shriller shrieks now mingling come 

From within the plunder d dome : 

Hark to the haste of flying feet, 

That splash in the blood of the slippery street: 

But here and there, where 'vantage-ground 

Against the foe may still be fouud, 

Desperate groups, of twelve or ten, 

Make a pause, and turn again — 

With banded backs against the wall, 

Fiercely stand, or fighting fall. 

There stood an old man — his hairs were wLits, 

But his veteran arm was full of might : 

80 gallantly bore he the brunt of th-j fray, 

Tho dead before him, on that day, 

In a semicirclo lay ; 

Still he combated unwounded, 

Though retreating, unsurrounded. 

Many a scar of former fiirht 

Lurk'd beneath his corselet bright ; 

But of every wound his body bore, 

Each and all had been ta'en before : 

Though aged, he was so iron of limb, 

Few of our youth could cope with him ; 

And the foes, whom he singly kept at ba^ 

Outnumber'd his thin hairs of silver graj; 

From right to left his sabre swept : 

Many an Othman mother wept 

Sons that were unborn, when dipp'd 

His weapon first in Moslem gore, 

Ere his years could count a score. 

Of all he might have been the siro 

Who fell that day beneath his ire : 

f'or, sonless loft long years a?o, 

His wrath made many a childleaa to* } 



<> 



<> 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 323 

And since the day, when in tbo strait* 

His only boy had met his fate, 

His parent's iron hand did doom 

More than a human hecatomb. 

If shades by carnage bo appease. 1, 

Patroclus' spirit loss was pleased 

Than his, Imnotti's son, who died 

Where Asia's bounds and ours divide. 

Buried he lay, where thousands before 

For thousands of years were inhumed on the shore • 

What of them is left, to tell 

Where they He, and how they fell / 

Not a stone on their turf, nor a bone in their graves 

But they live in the verse that immortally save*. 

XXVI. 

Qark to the Allah shout! a band 

Of the Mussulman bravest and best is at hand : 

Their leader's nervous arm is bare, 

Swifter to smite, and never to spare — 

Unclothed to the shoulder it waves them oa ; 

Thus in the fight is he ever known : 

Others a gaudier garb may show, 

To tempt the spoil of the greedy foe ; 

Many a hand 's on a richer hilt, 

But none on a steel more ruddily gilt ; 

Many a loftier turban may wear, — 

Alp is but known by the white arm bare ; 

Look through the thick of the fight, 'tis thai 

There is not a standard on that shore 

So well advanced the ranks before ; 

There is not a banner in Moslem war 

Will lure the Delis half so far ; 

ft glances like a falling star ! 

Where'er that mighty arm is seen, 

The bravest be, or late have been ; 

There the craven cries for quarter 

Vainly to the vengeful Tartar ; 

3r the hero, silent lying, 

Scorns to yield a groan in dying , 

Mustering his last feeble blow 

'Gainst the nearest levell'd foe 

Though faint beneath the mutual wo una. 

Grappling on the gory ground. 

XXVII. 

Still the old man stood erect, 

And Alp's career a moment check' d. 

"Yield thee, Minotti ; quarter take 
For thine own, thy daughter's sak«. 

Is the naval battle at th« mouth of the Dardanelles, S»*tireen the Venet<»TS %ni itkt 
fork*.— A. 

1 2 



*$+ 



i 



X 



324 BVXON'S POEMS. 

*' Never, renegado, never ! 

Though the life of thy gift would last for eve?." 

" Francesca ! — Oh, my promised bride ! 
Must she too perish by thy pride ? " 

" She is safe."—" Where ? where ? "— " In hoavan t 

From whence thy traitor soul is driven — 

Far from thee, and undefiled." 

Grimly then Minotti smiled, 

As he saw Alp staggering bow 

Before his words, as with a blow. 

"Oh God ! when died she ?"— " Yesternight— 

Nor weep I for her spirit's flight : 

None of my pure race shall be 

Slaves to Mahomet and thee — 

Come on ! " — That challenge is in vain — 

Alp 's already with the slain ! 

While Minotti' s words were wreaking 

More revenge in bitter speaking 

Than his falchion's point had found, 

Had the time allow d to wound, 

From within the neighbouring porch 

Of a long-defended church, 

Where the last and desperate few 

Would the failing fight renew, 

The sharp shot dash'd Alp to the ground ; 

Ere an eye could view the wound 

That crash'd through the brain of the infid^ 

Round h© spun, and down he fell ; 

A flash like fire within his eyes 

Blazed, as he bent no more to rise, 

And then eternal darkness sunk 

Through all the palpitating trunk ; 

Nought of life left, save a quivering 

Where his limbs were slightly shivering : 

They turn'd him on hit back ; his breast 

And brow were stain'd with gore and duSlfe 

And through his lips the life-blood oosod, 

From its deep veins lately loosed ; 

But in his pulse there was no throb, 

Nor on his lips one dying sob ; 

Sigh, nor word, nor struggling breath 

Heralded liis way to death : 

Ere his very thought could pray, 

Unaneled he pass d away, 

Without a hope from mercy's aid,— 

To the last — a Renegade. 

xxvin. 
Fearfully the yell arose 
Of his followers, and his foes j 
These in joy, in fury thos* : 
Then again in conflict inixuigr, 



*G 



«> 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH. 325 

Clashing swords, and spears transfixing 
Interchanged the blow and thrust, 
Hurling warriors in the dust. 
Street by street, and foot by foot, 
Still Miaotti dares dispute 
The latest portion of the land 
Left beneath his high command ; 
With him, aiding heart and hand, 
The remnant of his gallant band. 

Still the church is tenable, 
Whence issued late the fated ball 
That half avenged the city's fall, 

When Alp, her fierce assailant, fell : 
Thither bending sternly back, 
They leave before a bloody track ; 
And, with their faces to the foe^ 
Dealing wounds with every blow, 
The chief, and his retreating train, 
Join to those within the fane ; 
There they yet may breathe awhile, 
Shelter'd by the massy pile. 

XXIX. 

Brief breathing-time ! the turban'd host, 

With added ranks and raging boast, 

Press onwards with such strength and b.&\% 

Their numbers balk their own retreat ; 

For narrow the way that led to the spot 

Where still the Christians yielded not ; 

And the foremost, if fearful, may vainly trj, 

Through the massy column to turn and fly ; 

They perforce must do or die. 

They die ; but ere their eyes could close, 

Avengers o'er their bodies rose ; 

Fresh and furious, fast they fill 

The ranks unthinn'd though slaughter'd still 

And faint the weary Christians wax 

Before the still renew* d attacks : 

And now the Othmans gain the gate ; 

Still resists its iron weight, 

And still, all deadly aim'd and hot, 

From every crevice comes the shot ; 

From every shatter'd window pour 

The volleys of the sulphurous shower 

But the portal wavering grows and wQ5&-» 

The iron yields, the hinges creak — 

It bends — it falls — and all is o'er ; 

Lost Corinth may resist no more ! 

XXX. 

Darkly, sternly, and all alone, 
Minotti stood o'er the altar stona : 
Madonna's face upon him shone, 
Painted in heavenly hues abova. 




326 BYRON'S POEMS. 

With eye* of light and looks of lovo ; 

And placed uoon that holy shrine 

To fix our thoughts on things divine, 

When pictured there, we kneeling see 

Her, and the boy-God on her kaee, 

Smiling sweetly on each prayer 

To heaven, as if to waft it there. 

Still she smiled ; even now she smiles, 

Though slaughter streams along her aislco ; 

Minotti lifted his aged eye, 

And made the sign of a cross with a sigh, 

Then seized a torch which blazed thereby ; 

And still he stood, while, with steel and flarw>, 

inward and onward the Mussulman cam©. 

XXXI. 

The vaults beneath the mosaic stone 

Contain'd the dead of ages gone ; 

Their names we»e on the graven floor, 

But now illegible with gore ; 

The carved crests, and curious hue? 

The variod marble's veins diffuse, 

Were smear' d, and slippery — stain'd, and strove 

With broken swords, and helms o'erthrown : 

There were dead above, and the dead below 

Lay cold in many a cofnn'd row ; 

You might see them piled in sable state, 

By a pale light through a gloomy grate ; 

But War had enter'd their dark caves, 

And stored along the vaulted graves 

tier sulphurous treasures, thickly spre#/I 

In masses by the flcshless dead : 

Here, throughout the siege, had been 

The Christian's chiefest magazine ; 

To these a late-form' d train now led, 

Minotti's last and stern resource, 

Against the foe's o'erwhelming force. 

XXXII. 

The ioe came on, and few remain 
To strive, and those must strive in vain : 
For lack of further l ; ves, to slake 
The thirst of vengeaac^ now awake, 
With barbarous blows they gash the dce4. 
And lop the already lifeless head, 
And fell the statues from their niche, 
And spoil the shrines of offerings rich, 
And from each other's rude hands wreili 
The silver vessels saints had bless' d. 
To the high altar on they go ; 
Oh, but it made a glorious show I 
On its table still behold 
The cup of oonsecr*it*d goH 



i 



* 



►A, 



THE SIEGE Oh CORINTH. 327 

Mare?y and deep, a glittering prize, 

Brightly it sparkles to plunderers' eyes : 

That morn it held the holy wine, 

Converted by Christ to His blood so divine, 

Which His worshippers drank at the break of da/ f 

To shrive their souls ere they join'd in the fray, 

Still a few drops within it lay ; 

And round the sacred table glow 

Twelve lofty lamps, in splendid row, 

from the purest metal cast ; 

fi. spoil — the richest, and the last 

XXXIII. 
<3o near they came, the nearest stretch' <J 
To grasp the 6poil he almost reach' d, 

When old Minotti's hand 
Touch'd with a torch the train — 

'Tis fired ! 
Spire, vaults, and shrine, the spoil, the sl&ia, 

The turban'd victors, the Christian band, 
All that of living or dead remain, 
liurl'd on high with the shiver* d fane, 

In one wild roar expired ! 
The shattered town, the walla thrown doT/u— 
The waves a moment backward bent — 
The hills that shake, although unrent, 

As if an earthquake pass'd — 
The thousand shapeless things all driven 
I a cloud and flame athwart the heaven, 

By that tremendous blast — 
Proclaini'd the desperate conflict o'er 
On that too long afflicted shore : 
Up to the sky like rockets go 
All that mingled there below : 
Many a tall and goodly man, 
Scorch'd and shrivell'd to a span, 
When he fell to earth again 
Like a cinder strew' d the plain : 
Down the ashes shower like rain ; 
Some fell in the gulf, which received the spricJilcB 
With a thousand circling wrinkles ; 
Some fell on the shore, but, far away, 
Scatter'd o'er the isthmus lay ; 
Christian or Moslem, which be they \ 
Let their mothers see and say 1 
When in cradled rest they lay, 
And each nursing mother smiled 
On the sweet sleep of her child, 
Little deem'd she such a day 
Would rend those tender limbs awaj, 
Not the matrons that them bore 
Could discern their offspring moro \ 
That one moment left no trace 
More of human form or face 



-6- 



328 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Save a scatter'd scalp or bone : 
And down came blazing rafters, strowt. 
Around, and many a falling stone, 
Deeply dinted in the clay, 
All blacken'd there and reeking lay. 
All the living things that heard 
That doadly earth-shock disappear'd : 
The wild birds flew ; th* wild dogs fled, 
And howling left the unburied dead ; 
The camels from their keepers broke ; 
The distant steer forsook the yoke— 
The nearer steed plunged o'er the plaia, 
A.Ld burst his girth, and tore his rein ; 
The bull-frog's note, from out the marsh, 
Deep-mouth d arose, and doubly harsh ; 
The wolves yell'd on the cavern'd hill 
Where echo roll'd in thunder still ; 
The jackal's troop, in gather' d cry,* 
Bay'd from afar complainingly, 
With a mix'd and mournful sound, 
Like crying babe, and beaten hound : 
With sudden wing, and ruffled breast, 
The eagle left his rocky nest, 
And mounted nearer to the sun, 
The clouds beneath him seem'd so due ; 
Their smoke assail'd his startled beak, 
And made him higher soar and shriek-— 
Thus was Corinth lost and won 1 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 

* O Lacbryinarum fons.tenero saeros 
Dncsntium ortus ex ammo : quatcr 
Felix I in lmo qui seatentsm 
Fectore te, pia Nympha, sensit." 

«ray's r-.-tnata. 

There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away, 
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull dec&y 
Til not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fadej cr> 

fast, 
But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past. 

Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happines3 
Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess : 
The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in vain 
The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again, 

• I believe I have taken a poetical license to transplant the jackal from Asia, in 
fc< 6ece I never saw nor heard these animals ; bat among the ruins 01 Ephesns I have hewd 
Vvrrc b f hundreds. They haunt ruins, and follow armies. — B. 



*T 



<> 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 329 

Then tho mortal coldness of the soul like death itself oomoa 

down ; 
It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its own ; 
That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears, 
And though the eye may sparkle still, 'tis where the ice appear*. 

Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth distract th© 

breast, 
Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope 

of rest ; 
'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreath, 
All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and gray beneath. 

Oh ! could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been, 

Or weep as I could once have wept, o'er many a vanish'd scene ; 

As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though 

they be, 
So midst the vri.th^d vaete of life, those tears would flow to roc 




4* 



^ 



PARIS1NA.' 



TO 

SOROPE BERDMORE DAVIES, SSQ^ 

THE FOLLOWING POEM IS INSCRIBED, 

BY OBS WHO HAS LONG ADMIEKD HIS TALENTS IBTJ VALUED HIS 
FB1KNDSHIP. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



The following poem Is grounded on a circumstance mentlonc 1 tn 
"ibbon's " Antiquities of the House of Brunswick." I am aware, that In 
modern times the delicacy or fastidiousness of the reader may deem such 
subjects unfit for the purposes of poetry. The Greek dramatists, and some 
of the best of our old English writers, were of a different opinion: as A 1 fieri 
and Schiller have also been, more recently, upon the Continent. The 
following extract will explain the fan** on which the story is founded. The 
name of Azo is substituted for Nicholas, as more metrical. 

" Under the reign of Nicholas 111., Ferrara was polluted with a domestic 
tragedy. By the testimony of an attendant, and his own observation, the 
Marquis of Este discovered the incestuous loves of his wife Fansina, and 
Hugo his bastard son. a beautiful ano vauant youth They were beheaded 
in the castle by the sentence of a fattier and husband, who published his 
Bharne, and survived their execution. He was unfortunate, if they were 
guilty | if they were innocent, he was still more unfortunate; nor is there 
suiy possible situation in which 1 can sincerely approve the last act of the 
Justice oi a parent." — Gibbon's MisceUaneoxiS Works, VOL- id. p. 470 



* Fks facta on wklcli (be pxooent poor; iu grounded are to k* tauu) j ffrissi't " Eirtctrj 
^* verrara." 



<:r 



P A R I S I N A. 



IT is the hour when from the boughs 

The nightingale's high note is heard { 
It is the hour when lovers' vows 

Seem sweet in every whisper'd word ; 
And gentle winds, and waters near, 
Make music to the lonely ear. 
Each flower the dews have lightly vet. 
And in the sky the stars are met, 
And on the wave is deeper blue, 
And on the leaf a browner hue, 
And in the heaven that clear obscure, 
So softly dark, and darkly pure, 
Which follows the decline of day, 
As twilight melts beneath the moon away. 

n. 

But it is not to list to the waterfall 

That Parisina leaves her hall, 

And it is not to gaze on the heavenly light, 

That the lady walks m the shadow of night ; 

And if she sits in Este's bower, 

Tis not for the sake of its full-blown flower — 

Bhe listens — but not for the nightingale — 

Though her ear expects as soft a tale. 

There glides a step through the foliage thick, 

And her cheek grows pale — and her heart beats qufaJc, 

There whispers a voice through the rustling leavs^ 

And her blush returns, and her bosom heaves : 

A moment more — and they shall meet — 

Tis past — her lover 's at her feet. 

m. 

Jnd what unto them is the world besida, 
With all its change of time and tide ? 
Its living things — its earth and sky — 
Are nothing to their mind and eye. 
And heedless as the dead are they 

Of aught around, above, beneath. 
As if all else had pass'd away, 

They oaly for each oth*sr breathe j 



* vi^"** 



< 



O 



332 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Their very sighs are full of joy 

So deep, that did it not decay, 
That happy madness would destroy 

The hearts which feel its fiery sway : 
Of guilt, of peril do they deem 
Id that tumultuous tender dream 1 
Who that have felt that p^sion's power, 
Or paused, or fear'd, in such an hour? 
Or thought how brief such moments last. I 
But yet — they are already past. 
Alas ! we must awake before 
We know such vision comes no more. 

TV. 

With many a lingering look they leave 

The spot of guilty gladness past ; 
And though they hope, and vow, they grievs, 

As if that parting were tne last. 
The frequent sigh — the long embrace — 

The lip that there would cling for ever, 
While gleams on Parisina's face 

The Heaven she fears will not forgive har, 
As if each calmly conscious star 
Beheld her frailty from afar — 
The frequent sigh, the long embrace, 
Yet binds them to their trysting-place. 
But it must come, and they must part 
In fearful heaviness of heart, 
With all the deep and shuddering chill 
W hich follows fast the deeds of iS, 

v. 

Ani Hugo is gone to his lonely bed, 

To covet there another's bride ; 
But she must lay her conscious head 

A husband's trusting heart beside. 
But fever'd in her sleep she seems, 
And red her cheek with troubled dreamy 

And mutters she in her unrest 
A name she dare not breathe by day, 

And clasps her lord unto the breast 
Which pants for one away : 
A ad he to that embrace awakes, 
A nd, happy in the thought, mistakes 
That dreaming sigh, and warm caress. 
For such as he was wont to bless ; 
And could in very fondness weep 
O'er her who loves him even in sleep. 

VI. 

He clasp'd her sleeping to his heart-, 
And listen' d to each broken word : 

He hears — Why doth Prince Azo start. 
As if the Archangel's voice he heani > 

And well he may — a deeper doom 

Could scarcely thunder o'er his tomb, 



4* 



PAR IS IN A. 333 



When he shall wake to sleep no moro, 
And stand the eternal throne boforo. 
And woll he may — his earthly peace 
Upon that souna is doom'd to cease. 
That sleeping whisper of a name 
Bespeaks her guilt and Azo's shame. 
And whose that name ? that o'er his pillow 
Sounds fearful as the breaking billow, 
Which rolls the plank upon the shore, 

And dashes on the pointed rock 
The wretch who sinks to rise no more,— 

So eame upon his soul the shock. 
And whose that name ? 'tis Hugo's — hi?— 
In sooth he had not deem'd of this I— 
'Tis Hugo's — he, the child of one 
He loved — his own all -evil son — 
The offspring of his wayward youth, 
When he betray'd Bianca's truth, 
The maid whose folly could confide 
In him who made her not his bride. 

VII. 

He pluck'd his poniard in its sheath, 

But sheath'd it ere the point was baro— 
Howe'er unworthy now to breathe, 
He could not slay a thing so fair — 
At least, not smiling — sleeping — ther^— 
Nay more : — he did not wake her then, 
But gazed upon her with a glance, 
Which, had she roused her from her trauca. 
Had frozen her sense to sleep again — 
And o'er his brow the burning lamp 
Gleam' d on the dew-drops big and damp. 
She spake no more — but still she slumber* d— 
While, in his thought, her days are number'dL 

VIII. 

And with the morn he sought, and found, 

In many a tale from those around, 

The proof of all he fear'd to know, — 

Their present guilt, his future woe ; 

The long- conniving damsels seek 

To save themselves, and would transfer 
The guilt — the shame — the doom — to her : 

Concealment is no more — they speak 

All circumstance which may compel 

Full credence to the tale they tell : 

And Azo's tortured heart and ear 

Have nothing more to feel or fear. 

is. 

He was not one who brook' d delay : 

Within the chamber of his state, 
The chief of Este's ancient sway 

Upon his throne of judgment sate 



+^4 



¥ 



•4 



334 BYRON'S POEMS. 

His nobles and his guards are thoro, — 
Before him is the sinful pair ; 
Both young, — and ont how passing fair 
With swordless belt, and fetter' d hand, 
Oh, Christ ! that thus a son should staal 

Before a father's face ! 
Yet thus must Hugo meet his sire, 
And hear the sentence of his ire, 

The tale of his disgrace ! 
And yet he seoms not overcome, 
Although, as yet, his voice be dumb. 

x. 

And still, and pale, and silently 

Did Pamina wait her doom ; 
How ohanged since last her speaking eye 

Glanced gladness round the glitteiing rocni,. 
Where high-born men were proud to wait- 
Where Beauty watch'd to imitate 

Her gentle voice— her lovely mien — 
And gather from her air and gait 

The graces of its queen : 
Then, — had her eye in sorrow wept, 
A thousand warriors forth had leapt, 
A thousand swords had sheath less shonc^ 
And made her quarrel all their own.- 
Now, — what is she ! and what are they ? 
Can she command, or these obey ? 
All silent and unheeding now, 
With downcast eyes and knitting brow, 
And folded arms, and freezing air, 
And lips that scarce their scorn forbear, 
Her knights and dames, her court — is thorp | 
And he, the chosen one, whose lance 
Had yet been couch'd before her glan?~, 
VVho — were his arm a moment free — 
Had died or gain'd her liberty ; 
The minion of his father's bride, — 
He, too, is fetter'd by her side : 
Nor sees her swoln and full eyes swim 
Less for her own despair than him : 
Those lids — o'er which the violet vein 
Wandering, loaves a tender stain, 
Shining through the smoothest white 
That e'er did softest kiss invite — 
Now seem'd with hot and livid glo^ T 
To press, not shade, the orbs below ; 
Which glance so heavily, and fill, 
as tear on tear grows gathering still 

XL 

And he for her had also wept, 
But for the eyes that on him ganc>d 

His sorrow, if he felt it, slept ; 
Stern and erect bis brow was raised 



-~* 






PARISINA. 335 



Whftte'er the grief his soul avow'd, 
He would not shrink before the crowd ; 
But yet he dared not look on her : 
Remembrance of the hours that worn — 
His guilt — his love — his present stat e — 
His Father's wrath — all good men's hate— 
His earthly, his eternal fate — 
And hers,— oh, hers ! he dared not throw 
One look upon that deathlike brow I 
Else had his rising heart betray' d 
Remorse for all the wreck it made. 

XII. 
And Aeo spake : — "But yesterday 

I gloried in a wife and son ; 
That dream this morning pass'd away ; 

Ere day declines, I shall have none. 
My life must linger on alone ; 
Well, — let that pass, — there breathes not ous 
Who would not do as I have done : 
Those ties are broken — not by me ; 

Let that too pass ; — the doom 's prepared ! 
Hugo, the priest awaits on thee, 

And then thy crime's reward ! 
Away ! address thy prayers to Heaven, 

Before its evening stars are met — 
Learn if thou there canst be forgiven ; 
Its mercy may absolve thee yet. 
But here, upon the earth beneath, 

There is no spot where thou and I 
Together, for an hour, could breathe : 

Farewell ! I will not see thee die — 
But thou, frail thing ! shalt view his hoa.i~-< 

Away ! I cannot speak the rest : 

Go ! woman of the wanton breast ; 
Not I, but thou, his blood doth shed : 
Gk> ! if that sight thou canst outlive, 
And joy thee in the life I give." 

XIII. 

ind here stern Azo hid his face — 
Eor on his brow the swelling vein 
Throbb'd as if back upon his brain 
The hot blood ebb'd and flow'd agaia 5 
And therefore bow'd he for a space. 
And pass'd his shaking hand along 
His eye, to veil it from the throng ; 
While Hugo raised his chained handa } 
And for a brief delay demands 
His father's ear : the silent sire 
Furbids not what his words require 

" It is not that I dread the death— ~ 
For thou hast seen me by thy side 



> 



*&• 4\ 

3 3 6 BYRON *S POEMS. 

All redly through the battle nde, 
And that not once a useless brand 
Thy slaves have wrested from my hand. 
Hath shed more blood in cause of thine, 
Than e'er can stain the axe of mine ; 

Thou gav'st, and mayst resmne my breath, 
A gift for which I thank thee not ; 
Nor are my mother's wrongs forgot, 
Her slighted love and ruin'd name, 
Hor offspring's heritage of shame ; 
But she is in the grave, where he, 
Her son, thy rival, soon shall be. 
Her broken heart — my sever'd head — 
Shall witness for thee from the dead 
How trusty and how tender were 
Thy youthful love — paternal care. 
'Tis true that I have done thee wrong — 

But wrong for wrong : — this, deem'd thy hridev 

The other victim of thy pride, 
Thou know'st for me was destined long. 
Thou saw'st, and covetedst her charms— 

And with thy very crime — my birth, 

Thou tauntedst me — as little worth ; 
A match ignoble for her arms, 
Because, forsooth, I could not claim 
The lawful heirship of thy name, 
Nor sit on Este's lineal throne : 

Yet, were a few short summers mine, 

My name should more than Este's shinfl 
With honours all my own. 
I had a sword — and have a breast 
That should have won as haught a crest * 
As ever waved along the line 
Of all tLi&a sovereign sues of thine. 
Not always knightly spurs are worn 
The brightest by the better born ; 
And mine have lanced my courser's flank 
Before proud chiefs of princely rank, 
When charging to the cheering cry 
Of * Este and of Victory ! ' 
I will not plead the cause of crime, 
Nor sue thee to redeem from time 
A few brief hours or days that must 
At length roll o'er my reckless dust ;— 
Such maddfoiing moments as my past, 
They could not, and they did not, last. 
Albeit my birth and name be base, 
And thy nobility of race 
Disdain 'd to dpok a thing like me — 

Yet in my lineaments they trace 

Some features of my father's face, 
And in my spirit — all of thee. 

• NautfM— haughty.— " Away, haught avu. thou art incoltiug u*.' 



-4 



<> 



PARI SIN A. 

Prom thee this tamelessness of heart ; 

Prom thee — nay, wherefore dost thou stai't ? — 

From thee in all their vigour came 

My arm of strength, my soul of flame : 

Thou didst not give me life alone, 

But all that made me more thine own. 

See what thy guilty love hath done I 

Repaid thee with too like a son ! 

I am no bastard in my soul, 

For that, like thine, abhorr'd control : 

And for my breath, thaC hasty boon 

Thou gav'st, and wilt resume so soon, 

I value it no more than thou, 

When rose thy casque above thy brow, 

And we, all side by side, have striven 

And o'er the dead our coursers driven : 

The past is nothing — and at last 

The future can but be the past ; 

Yet would I that I then had died ; 

For though thou work'dst my mother's Iil ; 
And made thy own my destined bride, 

I feel thou art my father still ; 
Vnd harsh as sounds thy hard decree, 
'Tis not unjust, although from thee. 
Begot in sin, to die in shame, 
My life begun and ends the same : 
As err'd the sire, so err'd the son, 
And thou must punish both in one. 
My crime seems worst to human view, 
But God must judge between us two !" 

XIV. 

He ceased — and stood with folded arms, 
On which the circling fetters sounded ; 
And not an ear but felt as wounded, 
Of all the chiefs that there were rank'd, 
When those dull chains in meeting claak'd J 
Till Parisina's fatal charms 
\gain attracted every eye — 
Would she thus hear him doom'd to die ! 
She stood, I said, all pale and still, 
The living cause of Hugo's ill : 
Her eyes unmoved, but full and wide, 
Not once had turn'd to either side — 
Nor once did those sweet eyelids close, 
Or shade the glance o'er which they ross, 
But round their orbs of deepest blue 
The circling white dilated grew — 
And there with glassy gaze she stood 
As ice were in her curdled blood ; 
But every now and then a tear, 
So large and slowly gather'd, slid 
From the long dark fringe of that fair UcL 
It was a thing to see, not hear ! 



4- 



338 BYR ON 'S POEMS. 

And those who saw, it did surprise, 

Such drops could fall from human eyes. 

To speak she thought — the imperfect note 

Was choked within her swelling throat, 

Yet seem'd in that low hollow groan 

Her whole heart gushing in the tone. 

It ceased — again she thought to speak, 

Then burst her voice in one long shriek, 

And to the earth she fell like stone 

Or statue from its base o'erthrown, 

More like a thing that ne'er had life — 

A monument of Azo's wife — 

Than her, that living guilty thing, 

"Whose every passion was a sting, 

Which urged to guilt, but could not bear 

That guilt's detection and despair. 

But yet she lived — and all too soon 

ttecover'd from that death-like swoon — 

But scarce to reason — every sense 

Had been o'erstrung by pangs intense ; 

And each frail fibre of her brain 

(As bowstrings, when relax'd by rain, 

The erring arrow launch aside) 

Sent forth her thoughts all wild and wide— 

The past a blank, the future black, 

With glimpses of a dreary track, 

Like lightning on the desert path, 

When midnight storms are mustering wrcth. 

She fear'd — she felt that something ill 

Lay on her soul, so deep and chill — 

That there was sin and shame she knew ; 

That some one was to die — but who ? 

She had forgotten :— did she breathe ? 

Could this be still the earth beneath, 

The sky above, and men around ; 

Or were they fiends who now so frown'd 

On one, before whose eyes each eye 

Till then had smiled in sympathy ? 

All was confused and undefined 

To her all-jarr'd and wandering mind ; 

A chaos of wild hopes and fears : 

And now in laughter, now in tears, 

But madly still in each extreme, 

She strove with that convulsive dreaai x 

For so it seem'd on her to break : 

Oh ! vainly must she strive to wake 1 

XV. 
The Convent bells are ringing, 

But mournfully and slow ; 
In the gray square turret swinging^ 

With a deep sound, to and fro. 

Heavily to the heart they go I 
Hark 1 the hymn is singing — 



♦<})* 



< 



<> 



PARISINA. 339 

The scng for the dead below, 

Or the living who shortly shall be 80 I 
For a departing being's soul 

The death-hymn peals and the hollow bells knoll : 
He is near his mortal goal ; 
Kneeling at the friar's knee ; 
Sad to hear — and piteous to see — 
Kneeling on the bare cold ground, 
With the block before and the guards around — 
And the headsman with his bare arm ready, 
That the blow may be both swift and steady, 
Feels if the axe be sharp ant. true — 
Since he set its edge anew : 
While the crowd in speechless circle gather 
To see the Son fall by the doom of the Father. 

XVI. 

It is a lovely hour as yet, 
Before the summer sun shall set, 
Which rose upon that heavy day, 
And mock'd it with his steadiest ray j 
And his evening beams are shed 
Full on Hugo's fated head, 
As his last confession pouring 
To the monk, his doom deploring 
In penitential holiness, 
He bends to hear his accents blese 
With absolution such as may 
Wipe our mortal stains away. 
That high sun on his head did glistsn 
As he there did bow and listen — 
And the rings of chestnut hair 
Curl'd half down his neck so bare ; 
But brighter still the beam was throwa. 
Upon the axe which near him shone 
With a clear and ghastly glitter. — 
Oh ! that parting hour was bitter ! 
Even the stern stood chill'd with awe . 
Dark the crime, and just the law — 
Yet they shudder' d as they saw. 

XVII. 

The parting prayers are said and over 
Of that false son — and daring lover ! 
His beads and sins are all recounted, 
His hours to their last minute mounted— - 
His mantling cloak before was stripp'd, 
His bright brown locks must now be clipp'd ^ 
'Tis done — all closely are they shorn — 
The vest which till this moment worn — 
The scarf which Parisina gave — 
Must not adorn him to the grave. 
Fjven that must now be thrown aside, 
And o'er his eyes the kerchief tied , 
a 2 



H-^ 




< 



340 BYRON'S POEMS. 

But no — that last indignity 

Shall ne'er approach his haughty eye, 

All feelings seemingly subdued, 

In deep disdain were half renew'd, 

When headsman's hands prepared to bind 

Those wyes which would not brook such blind I 

As if they dared not look on death. 

*' No — yours my forfeit blood and breath— 

These hands are chain'd, but let me die 

At least with an unshackled eye — 

Strike :" — and as the word he said, 

Upon the block he bowM his head ; 

These the last accents Hugo spoke : 

" Strike :" — and flashing fell the stroko— 

Koll'd the head — and, gushing, sunk 

Back the stain'd and heaving trunk, 

In the dust, which each deep vein 

Slaked with its ensanguined rain ; 

His eyes and lips a moment quiver, 

Convulsed and quick — then fix for ever. 

He died, as erring man should die, 

Without display, without parade ; 

Meekly had he bow'd and pray'd, 

As not disdaining priestly aid, 
Nor desperate of all hope on high. 
And while before the prior kneeling. 
His heart was wean'd from earthly feeling ; 
His wrathful sire — his paramour — 
What were they in such an hour ? 
No more reproach — no more despair ; 
No thought but heaven — no word but prayer- 
Save the few which from him broke, 
When, bared to meet the headsman's strok% 
He claim'd to die with eyes unbound, 
His sole adieu to those around. 

xvrrt. 

Still as the lips that closed in death, 

Each gazer's bosom held his breath : 

But yet, afar, from man to man, 

A cold electric shiver ran. 

A s down the deadly blow descended 

On him whose life and love thus ended ; 

And, with a hushing sound compress' d, 

A sigh shrunk back on every breast ; 

But no more thrilling noise rose there, 
Beyond the blow that to the block 
Pierced through with forced and sullen shock, 

Save one : — what cleaves the silent air 

So madly shrill — so passing wild ? 

That, as a mother's o'er her child, 

Done to death by sudden blow, 

To the sky these accents go, 

like a soul's in endless woe. 



4* 



-H> 



PAR1S1NA. 34 i 

Through Azo's palace-lattice driven. 
That horrid voice ascends to heaveu, 
And every eye is turn'd thereon ; 
But sound and sight alike are gone I 
Tt was a woman's shriek — and ne'er 
In madlier accents rose despair ; 
And those who heard it, as it past. 
In mercy wish'd it were the last. 

XIX. 

Hugo is fallen ; and from that hour 

No more in palace, hall, or bower, 

Was Parisina heard or seen : 

Her name — as if she ne'er had been— 

Was banish'd from each lip and ear, 

Like words of wantonness or fear ; 

And from Prince Azo's voice, by none 

Was mention heard of wife or son ; 

No tomb — no memory had they ; 

Theirs was unconsecrated clay ; 

At least the knight's who died that day. 

But Parisina's fate lies hid 

Like dust beneath the coffin-lid : 

Whether in convent she abode, 

And won to heaven her dreary road, 

By blighted and remorseful years 

Of scourge and fast, and sleepless tears ; 

Or if she fell by bowl or steel, 

For that dark love the dared to feel ; 

Or if, upon the moment smote, 

She died by tortures less remote ; 

Like him she saw upon the block, 

With heart that shared the headsman's shocSy 

In quicken'd brokenness that came, 

In pity, o'er her shatter'd frame, 

None knew — and none can ever know : 

But whatsoe'er its end below, 

Rer life began and closed in woe I 

XX. 

And Azo found another bride, 

And goodly sons grew by his side ; 

But none so lovely and so brave 

As him who wither' d in th<s grave ; 

Or if they were — on his cold eye 

Their gi-owth but glanced unheeded by, 

Or noticed with a smother' d sigh. 

But never tear his cheek descended. 

And never smile his brow unbended ; 

And o'er that fair broad brow were wrought 

The intersected lines of thought ; 

Those furrows which the burning share 

Of Sorrow ploughs untimely there • 



-*}♦ 



^ 



4, 



342 



<> 



BYAON'S POEMS. 

Scars of the laeemting mind 

Which the Soul's war doth leave behind* 

He was past all mirth or woe : 

Nothing more remain'd below 

But sleepless nights and heavy days, 

A mind all dead to scorn or praise, 

A heart which shunn'd itself — and yet 

That would not yield — nor could forget* 

Which, when it least appear'd to melt. 

Intently thought — intensely felt: 

The deepest ice which ever froze 

Can only o'er the surface close — 

The living stream lies quick below, 

And flows — and cannot cease to flow. 

Still was his sealed-up bosom haunted 

By thoughts which nature had implant©* J 

Too deeply rooted thence to vanish, 

Howe'er our stifled fearrs we banish ; 

When, struggling as they rise to start, 

We check those waters of the heart, 

They are not dried — those tears unshed, 

But flow back to the fountain-head, 

And resting in their spring more pure, 

For ever in its depth endure, 

Unseen, unwept, but uncongeal'd, 

And cherish'd most where least reveal'd. 

With inward starts of feeling left, 

To throb o'er those of life bereft ; 

Without the power to fill again 

The desert gap which made his pain ; 

Without the hope to meet them wher« 

United souls shall gladness share, 

With all the consciousness that he 

Had only pass'd a just decree ; 

That they had wrought their doom of ill , 

Yet Azo's age was wretched still. 

The tainted branches of the tree, 

If lopp'd with care, a strength may gi^ 
By which the rest shall bloom and liver 
All greenly fresh and wildly free ; 
But if the lightning, in its wrath, 
The waving boughs with fury scath, 
The massy trunk the ruin feels, 
And never more a leaf reveals. 






+4h 



FAKE THEE WELL. 343 



FARE THEE WELL. 

— Alas I they have been Mend* In youth ( 
But whispering tongues can poison truth | 
And constancy lives in realms above ; 
And life Is thorny, and youth is vain : 
And to be wroth with one we love. 
Doth work like madness In the brain ; 
• ••••• 

But never either found another 

To free the hollow hear* from paining— 

They stood aloof, the scats remaining, ' 

Like cliffs, which had been rent asunder i 

A dreary sea now flows between. 

But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, 

Shall wholly do away, I ween, 

The marks of that which once hath been." 

Colkrldok's Ch-Hetadfl 

Pare thee well ! and if for ever, 

Still for ever, fare thee well ; 
Even though unforgiving, never 

'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel. 

Would that breast were bared before thee 
Where thy head so oft hath lain, 

While that placid sleep came o'er thee 
Which thou ne'er canst know again : 

Would that breast, by thee glanced over, 
Every inmost thought could show ! 

Then thou wouldst at last discover 
Twas not well to spurn it so. 

Though the world for this commend thee— 

Though it smile upon the blow, 
Even its praises must offend thee, 

Founded on another's woe : 

Though my many faults defaced me, 

Could no other arm be found, 
Than the one which once embraced me, 

To inflict a cureless wound ? 

Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not : 

Love may sink by slow decay, 
But by sudden wrench, believe not \j 

Hearts can thus be torn away ; 

Still thine own its life retaineth — 

Still must mine, though bleeding, best J 

And the undying thought which paiaeth 
Is — that we no more may meet. 

These are words of deeper sorrow 

Than the wail above the dead ; 
Both shall live, but every morrow 

Wake us from a wjdow'd bsd. 



"T* 



Mfn- 



344 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And when thou would st soiace gather, 
When our child's first accents flow, 

Wilt thou teach her to say ' ' Father ! " 
Though his care she must forego ? 

When her little hands shall press thee, 

When her lip to thine is press'd, 
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee, 

Think of him thy love had bless' d ! 

Should her lineaments resemble 
Those thou never more mayst see, 

Then thy heart will softly tremble 
With a pulse yet true to me. 

All my faults perchance thou knowest* 
All my madness none can know ; 

All my hopes, where'er thou goest, 
Whither, yet with thee they go. 

Every feeling hath been shaken ; 

Pride, which not a world could bow, 
Bows to thee — by thee forsaken, 

Even my soul forsakes me now : 

But 'tis done — all words are idle — 

Words from me are vainer still ; 
But the thoughts we cannot bridle 

Force their way without the will. 

Fare thee well ! — thus disunited, 

Torn from every nearer tie. 
Sear'd in heart, and lone, and blighted, 

More than this I scarce can die. 

Ifcwch 17, \UZ 



A SKETCH. 

• Honest — honest Iago 1 
If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee." 

Born in the garret, in the kitchen bred, 
Promoted thence to deck her mistress' head ; 
Next — for some gracious service unexpress' i, 
And from its wages only to be guess'd — 
Raised from the toilette to the table, — where 
Her wondering betters wait behind her chair. 
With eye unmoved, and forehead unabash'd, 
She dines from off the plate she lately wash'd. 
Quick with the tale, and ready with the He — 
The genial confidante, and general spy — 
Who could, ye gods ! her next employment gueas— 
An only infant's earliest governess ! 
She taught the child to read, and taught so weLL, 
That she herself by teaching, learn' d to spelh 



4- 



A SKETCH. 345 

An adept next in penmanship she grows, 

As many a nameless slander deftly shows : 

What she had made the pupil of her art, 

None know — bnt that high Sonl secured tho heart, 

And panted for the truth it could not hear, 

With longing breast and undeluded ear. 

Foil'd was perversion by that youthful mind, 

Which Flattery fool'd not — Baseness could not blind, 

Deceit infect not — near Contagion soil — 

Indulgence weaken — nor Example spoil— 

Nor master* d Science tempt her to look down 

On humbler talents with a pitying frown — 

Nor Genius swell — nor Beauty render vain — 

Nor Envy ruffle to retaliate pain — 

Nor Fortune change — Pride raise — nor Passion bow, 

Nor Virtue teach austerity — till now. 

Serenely purest of her sex that live, 

But wanting one sweet weakness — to forgive, 

Too shock'd at faults her soul can never know, 

She deems that all could be like her below : 

Foe to all vice, yet hardly Virtue's friend, 

For virtue pardons those she would amend. 

But to the theme : — now laid aside too long, 
The baleful burthen of this honest song — 
Though all her former functions are no more, 
She rules the circle which she served before. 
If mothers — none know why — before her quake ; 
If daughters dread her for the mothers' sake ; 
If early habits — those false links, which bind 
At times the loftiest to the meanest mind — 
Have given her power too deeply to instil 
The angry essence of her deadly will ; 
If like a snake she steal within your walls, 
Till the black slime betray her as she crawls ; 
If like a viper to the heart she wind, 
And leave the venom there she did not find ; 
W hat marvel that this hag of hatred works 
Eternal evil latent as she lurks, 
To make a Pandemonium where she dwells, 
A nd reign the Hecate of domestic hells ? 
Skill'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints 
With all the kind mendacity of hints, 
While mingling truth with falsehood — sneers with §miloo — 
A thread of candour with a web of wiles ; 
A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming, 
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming ; 
A lip of lies — a face form'd to conceal; 
And, without feeling, mock at all who feel : 
With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown ; 
A cheek of parchment — and an eye of stone. 
Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood 
Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud. 



*& 



■0 



346 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Cased like the centipede in saffron mail, 
Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scale— 
(For drawn from reptiles only may we trace 
Congenial colours in that soul or face) — 
Look on her features ! and behold her mind 
As in a mirror of itself defined : 
Look on the picture ! deem it not o'ercharged— 
There is no trait which might not be enlarged : 
Yet true to " Nature's journeymen," who made 
This monster when their mistress left off trade— 
This female dog-star of her little sky, 
Where all beneath her influence droop or die. 

Oh I wretch without a tear — without a thought, 
Save joy above the ruin thou hast wrought — 
The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou 
Bhalt feel far more than thou inflictest now ; 
Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain, 
And turn thee howling in unpitied pain. 
May the strong curse of crush'd affections light 
Back on thy bosom with reflected blight ! 
And make thee in thy leprosy of mind 
As loathsome to thyself as to mankind ! 
Till all thy self-thoughts curdle into hate, 
Black — as thy will for others would create : 
Till thy hard heart be calcined into dust, 
And thy soul welter in its hideous crust. 
Oh, may thy grave be sleepless as the bed, 
The widow'd couch of fire, that thou hast spread ! 
Then, when thou fain wouldst weary Heaven with prayer, 
Look on thine earthly victims — and despair ! 
Down to the dust ! — and, as thou rott'st away, 
Even worms shall perish on thy poisonous clay. 
But for the love I bore, and still must bear, 
To her thy malice from all ties would tear — 
Thy name — thy human name — to every eye 
The climax of all scorn would hang on high, 
Exalted o'er thy less abhorr'd compeers — 
And festering in the infamy of years. 

MireL C8. IHll 



STANZAS TO AUGUSTA, 

When all around grew drear and dark. 
And reason half withheld her ray — 

And hope but shed a dying spark 
Which more misled my lonely way ; 

In that deep midnight of the mind, 
And that internal strife of heart, 

When dreading to be deem'd too kind, 
The weak despair — the cold depart ; 



i>* 



< 



V- 






•/*^ 


r 


STANZAS TO AUGUSTA. 


347 


•\ 





When fortune changed — and love fled far, 
And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast 

Thou wert the solitary star 

Which rose, and set not to the lask 

Oh ! blest be thine unbroken light 1 
That watch'd me as a seraph's eye, 

And stood between me and the night, 
For ever shining sweetly nigh. 

And when the cloud upon us came, 

Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray — 

Then purer spread its gentle flame, 
And dash'd the darkness all away. 

Still may thy spirit dwell on mine, 
And teach it what to brave or brook— 

There's more in one soft word of thina 
Than in the world's defied rebuke 

Thou stood' st, as stands a lovely tree, 
That still unbroke, though gently bent. 

Still waves with fond fidelity 
Its boughs above a monument. 

The winds might rend — the skies might poor. 
But there thou wert — and still wouldst be 

Devoted in the stormiest hour 
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me. 

But thou and thine shall know no blight, 

Whatever fate on me may fall ; 
?or Heaven in sunshine will requite 

The kind — and thee the most of all. 

Then let the ties of baffled love 
Be broken — thine will never break ; 

Thy heart can feel — but will not move ; 
Thy soul, though soft, will never shake, 

Jlnd these, when all was lost beside, 
Were found, and still are fix'd in thee $-— 

And bearing still a breast so tried, 
Siu-th is no desert — ev'n to me. 



4fr 



♦A 



THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

Whkn this poem was composed, I was not sufficiently aware of the 
history of Bonnivard, or I should have endeavoured to dignify the subject 
by an attempt to celebrate his courage and his virtues. Some account of 
his life will be found below, furnished me by the kindness of a citizen of 
that republic, which is still proud of the memory of a man worthy of the 
best age of ancient freedom : — 

Francois de Bonnivard, son of Louis de Bonnivard, a native of Seysel, 
and Seigneur of Lunes, was born in 1496 ; he was educated at Turin. In 
1510 his uncle, Jean-Reine de Bonnivard, resigned to him the Priory ol 
Saint- Victor, which adjoins the walls of Geneva, and which was a consi- 
derable living. 

This great man — Bonnivard is deserving of this title from his greatness 
of soul, the uprightness of his heart, the nobility of his intentions, the 
wisdom of his counsels, the courage of his actions, the extent of his 
learning, and the brilliancy of his wit — this great man, who will ever 
excite the admiration of all those whom an heroic virtue can move, will 
always inspire the most lively gratitude in the hearts of those Genoese 
who love Geneva. Bonnivard was always one of its firmest supports; to 
protect the liberty of our republic, he never feared to lose his own ; he 
forgot his ease, he despised his wealth ; he neglected nothing to render 
certain the happiness of the country that he dignified by his adoption ; 
from that moment he loved it as the most zealous of its citizens, he served 
it with the intrepidity of a hero, and he wrote its history with the simpli- 
city of a philosopher, and the ardour of a patriot. 

He says in the commencement of his " History of Geneva," that, " As 
soon as he commenced to read the histories of nations, he felt himself 
carried way by his love for republics, the interest of which he always 
advocated.'* It was, doubtless, this very love of liberty, that made him 
adopt Geneva as his country. 

Bonnivard while yet young, boldly stood forward as the defender of 
Geneva, against the Duke of Savoy and the Bishop. 

In 1519, Bonnivard became the martyr of his country; the Duke of 
Savoy having entered Geneva with five hundred men, Bonnivard feared 
the resentment of the Duke; he wished to return to Flabourg to avoid the 
consequences ; but he was betrayed by two men who accompanied him, 
and conducted by order of the prince to Grolee, where for two years he 
remained a prisoner. 

Bonnivard was unfortunate in his travels. As his misfortunes had not 
slackened his zeal for Geneva, he was always a redoubtable enemy to 
those who threatened it, and accordingly was likely to be exposed to 
their violen-e. He was met in 1530 on the Jura, by thieves, who stripped 
him of everything, and placed him again in the hands of the Duke of 
Savoy. This prince caused him to be confined in the Chateau of Chillon, 
where he remained without being submitted to any interrogatory, until 
1536 ; he was then delivered by the Bernois, who took possession of the 
Pays de Vaud. 

Bonnivard, on leaving his captivity, Dad the pleasure of finding Geneva 
free and reformed. The Republic hastened to testify its gratitude to hirz, 



HIT*- 



o 



SONNE T ON CII1LL0N. 349 

and to recompeivse him for the evils wnich he had suffered. It received 
him as a citizen of the town, in the month of June, 1536; it gave him tha 
house formerly inhabited by the Vicar-General, and assigned to him a 
pension of two hundred gold crowns, as long as he should sojourn in 
Geneva. He was admitted into the council of Two Hundred in 1537. 

Bonnivard did not now cease to be useful ; after having laboured to 
make Geneva free, he succeeded in making it tolerant. Bonnivard pre- 
vailed upon the council to accord to the Calvinists and peasants a sufficient 
time for examining the propositions which were made to them ; he sue- 
ceeded by his meekness. Christianity is always preached with success, 
when it is preached with charity. 

Bonnivard was learned. His manuscripts, which are in the public 
library, prove that he had diligently studied the Latin classics, and that he 
had penetrated the depths of theology and history. This great man loved 
the sciences, and thought they would constitute the glory of Geneva ; 
accordingly, he neglected nothing to establish them in this rising town. 
In 1551, he gave his library to the public; it was the commencement of our 
public library. And a portion of his books, are those rare and beautiful 
editions of the fifteenth century, which are seen in our collection. Finally, 
during the same year, this good patriot appointed the republic his heir, on 
condition that it would employ his wealth in supporting the college, the 
foundation of which was being projected. 

It appears that Bonnivard died in 1570; but this cannot be certified, 
as an hiatus occurs in the Necrology, from the month of July 1570 to 
«&7l. 



SONNET ON CHILLON. 

Etebnal Spirit of the chainless Mind ! 

Brightest in dungeons, Liberty ! thou art, 

For there thy habitation is the heart — 
The heart which love of thee alone can bind ; 
And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd — 

To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom, 

Their country conquers with their martyrdoms, 
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. 
Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place, 

And thy sad floor an altar — for 'twas trod, 
Until his very steps have left a trace 

Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, 
By Bonnivard ! — May none those marks efiaafr ? 

For thgy appeal from tyranny to God. 




■4r 



THE PRISONER OF CHILLON." 



My hair is gray, but not with years, 
Nor grew it white 
In a single night, 
Afi men's have grown from sadden fears :f ' 
My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil, 

But rusted with a vile repose, 
For they have been a dungeon's spoil, 

And mine has been the fate of those 
To whom the goodly earth and air 
Are bann'd, and barr'd — forbidden fare ; 
But this was for my father's faith 
I suffered chains and courted death ; 
That father perish'd at the stake 
For tenets he would not forsake ; 
And for the same his lineal race 
In darkness found a dwelling-place ; 
We were seven — who now are one, 

Six in youth, and one in age, 
Finish' d as they had begun, 

Proud of Persecution's rage ; 
One in fire, and two in field, 
Their belief with blood have Beal'd ; 
Dying as their father died, 
For the God their foes denied ; 
Three were in a dungeon cast, 
Of whom this wreck is left the last. 

n. 

There are seven pillars of Gothic mouli, 
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old, 
There are seven columns, massy and gray, 
Dim with a dull imprison' d ray — 
A sunbeam which hath lost its way, 
And through the crevice and the cleft 
Of the thick wall is fallen and left, 
Creeping o'er the floor so damp. 
Like a marsh's meteor lamp— 

* Yhis la » beautiful poem ; and we cannot help considering It the more so from than 
I— Lag nothing of the author's idiosyncrasy mingled with it— a very rare etreumstanea 
hi Byron's writings 1 

f Ludovioo Sforza, and others. — The same is asserted of Marie Antoinette's, the v/ife of 
Iiouis XVI., though not in quite so short a period. Grief is said to have ths same effect I 
I* such, aaU net to f*%r. tbts change in hert was to be attributed. — U. 

« - 



THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. 351 

And in each pillar there is a ring, 

And in each ring there is a chain ; 
That iron is a cankering thing, 

For in these limbs its teeth remain, 
With marks that will not wear away, 
Till I have done with this new day, 
Which now is painful to those eyes, 
Which have not seen the sun to rise 
For years — I cannot count them o'er, 
I lost their long and heavy score 
When my last brother droop'd and died., 
And I lay living by his side. 

m. 

They chain'd us each to a column stone, 
And we were three — yet each alone : 
We could not move a single pace, 
We could not see each other's face, 
But with that pale and livid light 
That made us strangers in our sight ; 
And thus together — yet apart, 
Fetter'd in hand, but pined in heart ; 
'Twas still some solace in the dearth 
Of the pure elements of earth, 
To hearken to each other's speech, 
And each turn comforter to each 
With some new hope, or legend old, 
Or song heroically bold ; 
But even these at length grew cold. 
Our voices took a dreary tone, 
An echo of the dungeon-stone, 

A grating sound — not full and free 

As they of yore were wont to be ; 

It might be fancy — but to me 
They never sounded like our own. 

IV. 

I was the eldest of the three, 

And to uphold and cheer the rest 

I ought to do — and did — my best, 
And each did well in his degree. 

The youngest, whom my father love^* 
Because our mother's brow was given 
To him — with eyes as blue as heaven, 

For him my soul was sorely moved ; 
And truly might it be distress'd 
To see such bird in such a nest ; 
For he was beautiful as day 

(When day was beautiful to me 

As to young eagles, being free) — 

A polar day, which will not see 
A sunset till its summer's gone, 

Its sleepless summer of long light, 
The snow -clad offspring of the sun : 

And thus k« was as pure and ferigiiCi, 



352 BYXON'S POEMS. 

And in his natural spirit gay, 
With tears for nought but others' ills, 
And then thoy fiow'd like mountain rii!a» 
Unless he could assuage the woe 
Which he abhorr'd to view below. 

V. 
The other was as pure of mind, 
But form'd to combat with his kind ; 
Strong in his frame, and of a mood 
Which 'gainst the world in war had stood, 
And perish'd in the foremost rank 

With joy : — but not in chains to pine : 
His spirit wither' d with their clank, 

I saw it silently decline — 

And so perchance in sooth did mine ; 
But yet I forced it on to cheer 
Those relics of a home so doar. 
He was a hunter of the hills, 

Had follow'd thore the deer and wolf ; 

To him this du> geon was a gulf, 
And fetter'd feet the worst of ills. 

VI. 

Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls : 
A thousand feet in depth below 
Its massy waters meet and flow ; 
Thus much the fathom-line was sent 
From Chillon's snow-white battlement,* 

Which round about the wave enthrall* : 
A double dungeon wall and wave 
Have made — and like a living grave. 
Below the surface of the lake 
The dark vault lies wherein we lay, 
We heard it ripple night and day ; 

Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd ; 
And I have felt the winter's spray 
Wash through the bars when winds were high, 
And wanton in the happy sky ; 

And then the very rock hath rock'd, 

iuid I have felt it shake, unshock'd, 

■ f »lhatsau de Chillon is situated between Clarens and Villenenve, which ltd Id 
,a» »ne extremity of the Lake of Geneva. On its left are the entrances of the Rhone, aad 
opposite are the heights of Meillerie and the range of Alps above Boveret and St. Gingo. 

Near it, on a hill behind, is a torrent ; below it, washing its walls, the Lake has been 
fathomed to the depth of 800 feet (French measure) ; within It are a range of dungeons, 
in which the early reformers, and subsequently prisoners of state, were confined. Across 
one of the vaults is a beam black with age, on which we were informed that the con- 
demned were formerly executed. In the cells are seven pillars, or, rather, eight, r ie 
Being half merged in the wall ; *n some of these are rings for the fetters and the fettered : 
In the pavement the steps of Bonnivard have left their traces — he was confined here 
several years. 

It is by this castle that Rousseau has fixed the catastrophe of his Heloise, in the rescue 
or une of her children by Julie from the water ; the shock of whirh, and the illness 
produced by the immersion, is the cause of her death. 

The chateau is large, and seen along the lake for a great distance The walls arc 
«U\te. -8. 



<> 



-C 



-€>♦ 



THE PRISONER 01' CHILLON. 353 

Because I could nave smiled to see 
The death th*t would Lave set me free; 

vn. 
I said my nearer brother pined, 
I said his mighty heart declined, 
He loathed and put away his food J 
It was not that 'twas coarse aDd rudo. 
For we were used to hunter's fare, 
And for the like had little care : 
The milk drawn from the mountain goaf. 
Was changed for water from the moat. 
Our bread was such as captives' tears 
Have moisten'd many a thousand yeans, 
Since man first pent his fellow-men 
Like brutes within an iron den : 
But what were these to us or him ? 
These wasted not his heart or limb ; 
My brother's soul was of that mould 
Which in a palace had grown cold, 
Had his free breathing been denied 
The range of the steep mountain's side J 
But why deb.y the truth ? — he died. 
I saw, and could not hold his head, 
Nor reach his dying hand — nor dead, 
Though hard I strove, but strove in vaii3^ 
To rend and gnash my bonds in twain. 
He died — and they unlock'd his chain 
And scoop'd for him a shallow grave 
Even from the cold earth of our cave. 
I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay 
His corse in dust whereon the day 
Might shine — it was a foolish thought, 
But then within my brain it wrought, 
That even in death his freeborn breasfc 
In such a dungeon could not rest. 
I might have spared my idle prayer — 
They coldly laugh'd — and laid him there 
The flat and turfless earth above 
The being we so much did love ; 
His empty chain above it leant,* 
Such murder's fitting monument 1 

vm. 

But he, the favourite and the flower, 
Most cherish' d since his natal hour, 
His mother's image in fair face, 
The infak'u Jove of all his race, 
His martyr' d father's dearest thoug&t^ 
My latest care, for whom I sought 
To hoard my life, that his might be 
i/ess wretched now, and one day fi -a*« ; 

* rbii is a. ftaa image, howover cboift. 
2 A 



j umjmiiMuu miimiumm, u — j bwb— 8B » ' — — - 



♦4* 



4 



354 BORON'S POEMS. 

He, too, who yet had held untired 

A spirit natural or inspired — 

He, too, was struck, and day by day 

Was wither'd on the stalk away. 

Oh God ! it is a fearful thing 

To see the human soul take wing 

In any shape, in any mood : — 

iVe seen it rushing forth in blood, 

I've seen it on the breaking ocean 

Strive with a swoln convulsive motion, 

I've seen the sick and ghastly bed 

Of Sin delirious with its dread : 

But these were horrors — this was wo<3 

Unmix'd with such — but sure and slov.' t 

"He faded, and so calm and meek, 
So softly worn, so sweetly weak, 
So tearless, yet so tender — kind, 
And grieved for those he left behind ; 
-With all the while a cheek whose blooas 
Was as a mockery of the tomb, 
Whose tints as gently sunk away 
As a departing rainbow's ray — 
An eye of most transparent light, 
That almost made the dungeon bright, 
And not a word of murmur — not 
A groan o'er his untimely lot, — 
A little talk of better days, 
A little hope my own to raise, 
For I was sunk in silence — lost 
In this last loss, of all the most ; 
And then the sighs he would suppress 
Of fainting nature's feebleness, 
More slowly drawn, grew less and less: 
1 listen'd, but I could not hear — 

- I call'd, for I was wild with fear ; 
I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread 
Would not be thus admonished ; 
I call'd, and thought I heard a sound— 

-I burst my chain with one strong bound? 
And rush'd to him : — I found him not 
/ only stirr'd in this black spot, 
/ only lived — / only drew 
The accursed breath of dungeon-devr ; 
The last — the sole — the dearest link 
Between me and the eternal brink, 
Which bound me to my failing race, 
Was broken in this fatal place. 
One on the earth, and one beneath — 
My brothers — both had ceased to breathe 
I took that hand which lay so still, 
Alas ! my own was full as chill ; 
I had not strength to stir, or strive, 
But felt that 1 was still alive — 



*o* 



-* 



*& 



THE PRISONER Ul< C1III.L0N. 355 



A frantio feeling, when we know 
That what we kve shall ne'er be sou 

I know not why 

I could not die, 
I had no earthly hope — but faith, 
And that forbade a selfish death. 

DC 

What next befell me then and there 

1 know not well — I never knew. — 

First came the loss of light, and air, 

And then of darkness too : 
I had no thought, no feeling — none — 
Among the stones I stood a stone, 
And was scarce conscious what I wist, 
As shrubless crags within the mist ; 
For all was blank, and bleak, and gray, 
It was not night — it was not day, 
It was not even the dungeon-light, 
Bo hateful to my heavy sight, 
. But vacancy absorbing space, 
And fixedness — without a place ; 
There were no stars — no earth — no time- 
No check — no change — no good — no crim2~» 
But silence, and a stirless breath 
Which neither was of life nor death ; 
A sea of stagnant idleness, 
Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless I 



A light broke in upon my brain, — = 

It was the carol of a bird ; 
It ceased, and then it came again, 

The sweetest song ear ever heard, 
And mine was thankful till my eyes 
Ran over with the glad surprise, 
And they that moment could not see 
I was the mate of misery ; 
But then by dull degrees came back 
My senses to their wonted track, 
I saw the dungeon walls and floor 
Close slowly round me as before, 
I saw the glimmer of the sun 
Creeping as xt before had done, 
But through the crevice where it came 
That bird was perch' d, as fond and tai&C^ 

And tamer than upon the tree ; 
A lovely bird, with azure wings, 
And song that said a thousand ihinge, 

And seem'd to say them all for me I 
I never saw its like before, 
I ne'er shall see its likeness more : 
2 A 2 



*4> 




^ 



-H 



356 BYRON'S POEMS. 

it Beem'd, like me, to want a mate. 

But was not half so desolate, 

And it was come to love me when 

None lived to love me so again, 

And cheering from my dungeon's brinS^, 

Had brought me back to feel and think. 

I know not if it late were free, 

Or broke its cage to perch on mine, 
But knowing well captivity, 

Sweet bird 1 I could not wish for thlae ! 
Dr if it were, in winged guise, 
A. visitant from Paradise ; 
For — Heaven forgive that thought ! the wbiJtf 
Which made me both to weep and smile — 
I sometimes deem'd that it might be 
My brother's soul come down to mo • 
But then at last away it flew, 
And then 'twas mortal — well I knew, 
For he would never thus have flown, 
And left me twice so doubly lone, — 
Lone — as the corse within its shroud, 
Lone — as a solitary cloud, 

A single cloud on a sunny day, 
While all the rest of heaven is clear, 
A frown upon the atmosphere, 
That hath no business to appear 

When skies are blue, and earth ia gtty« 

XI. 

A kind of change came in my fato, 
My keepers grew compassionate, 
I know not what had made them a\ 
They were inured to sights of woe, 
But so it was : — my broken chain 
With links unfasten'd did remain, 
And it was liberty to stride 
Along my cell from side to side, 
And up and down, and then athwart, 
And tread it over every part ; 
And round the pillars one by one. 
Returning where my walk begun, 
Avoiding only, as I trod, 
/Ay brothers' graves without a sod ; 
For if I thought with heedless tread 
My step profaned their lowly bed, 
My breath came gaspingly and thick, 
And my crush'd heart fell blind and 

121. 
I made a footing in the wall, 

It was not therefrom to escape; 
For I had buried one and all, 

Who loved me in a human shape ; 



;> 



*f 



THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. 357 

And the whol^ earth would henceforth he 

A wider prison unto me : 

No child — no sire — no kin had I, 

No partner in my misery ; 

I thought of this, and I was glad, 

For thought of them had made me mad \ 

But I was curious to ascend 

To my barr'd windows, and to bend 

Once more, upon the mountains higa. 

The quiet of a loving eye. 

xin. 
I saw them — and they were the same, 
They were not changed like me in frame : 
1 saw their thousand years of snow 
On high — their wide long lake below, 
And the blue Rhone in fullest flow ; 
I heard the torrents leap and gush 
O'er channell'd rock and broken bush ; 
I saw the white-wall'd distant town, 
And whiter sails go skimming down J 
And then there was a little isle,* 
Which in my very face did smile, 

The only one in view ; 
A small green isle, it seem'd no more, 
Scarce broader than my dungeon floozy 
But in it there were three tall trees, 
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze, 
And by it there were waters flowing, 
And on it there were young flowers growing, 

Of gentle breath and hue. 
The fish swam by the castle wall, 
And they seem'd joyous each and all ; 
The eagle rode the rising blast, 
Methought he never flew so fast 
As then to me he seem'd to fly, 
And then new tears came in my eye, 
And I felt troubled — and would fain 
I had not left my recent chain ; 
And when I did descend again, 
The darkness of my dim abode 
Fell on me as a heavy load ; 
It was as is a new-dug grave, 
Closing o'er one we sought to save, 
And yet my glance, too much opprest, 
Had almost need of such a rest. 

xrv. 
It might be months, or years, or daya^ 

I kept no count — I took no note, 
I had no hope my eyes to raise, 

And clear them of their dreary mote ; 

* IJetween the entrances of the Rhone and Villeneuve, not far from ChiSon, fe e» vwy 
■mail Uland ; the only one I could perceive, in my voyage round and over tfao lakt; 
villain its circumference. It contains a few trees ( I think not »bo»e three), aud QXiu '_*£ 
ungleu&es and diuiuiutive size has a peculiar sffect upon the view.— Si. 



<h 




358 BYRON'S POEMS. 

At last men came to net me free, 

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not wherot 
It was at length the same to me, 
Fetter'd or fetterless to be, 
I learn' d to love despair. 
And thus when they appear'd at last, 
And all my bonds aside were cast, 
These heavy walls to me had gro^rn 
A hermitage — and all my own ! 
And half I felt as they were come 
To tear me from a second home : 
With spiders I had friendship made, 
And watch' d them in their sullen trade ; 
Had seen the mice by moonlight play, 
And why should I feel less than they ? 
We were all inmates of one place, 
And I, the monarch of each race, 
Had power to kill — yet, strange to tell S 
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell — 
My very chains and T grew friends, 
So much a long communion tends 
To make us what we are : — even I 
Regain' d my freedom with a sigh. 



4: 



MONODY ON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT H01L 
R. B. SHERIDAN. 

SPOKEN AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE. 

When the last sunshine of expiring day 

In summer's twilight weeps itself away, 

Who hath not felt the softness of the hour 

Sink on the heart, as dew along the flower ? 

With a pure feeling which absorbs and awes 

While Nature makes that melancholy pause, 

Her breathing moment on the bridge w) ere Tim* 

Of light and darkness forms an arch sul lime, 

Who hath not shared that calm so still and deep, 

The voiceless thought which would not speak but wc*?£. 

A holy concord — and a bright regret, 

A glorious sympathy with suns that sot ? 

Tis not harsh sorrow — but a tenderer woe, 

ft ameles«, but dear to gentle hearts below, 

Felt without bitterness — but full and clear, 

A sweet dejection — a transparent tear, 

Unmix'd with worldly grief or selfish stain, 

Shed without shame — and secret without pain. 

Even as the tenderness that hour instils 
W hen summer's day declines along the hills, 



-$.! 



* 



MONODY. 359 

-i 
So feels th3 fulness of our heart and eyes, 
When all ol Genius which can perish dies. 
A mighty Spirit is eclipsed — a Po ^er 
Hath pass'd from day to darkness — to whose hour 
Of light no likeness is bequeath'd — no name, 
Focus at once of all the rays of Fame ! 
The flash of Wit — the bright Intelligence, 
The beam of Song — the blaze of Eloquence, 
Set with their Sun — but still have left behind 
The enduring produce of immortal Mind ; 
Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon, 
A deathless part of him who died too soon. 
But small that portion of the wondrous whole, 
These sparkling segments of that circling soul, 
Which all embraced — and lighten'd over all, 
To cheer — to pierce — to please — or to appal. 
From the charm'd council to the festive board, 
Of human feelings the unbounded lord ; 
In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied, 
The praised — the proud — who made his praise their pride 
When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan 
Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man, 
His was the thunder — his the avenging rod, 
The wrath — the delegated voice of God ! 
Which shook the nations through his lips — and blazed 
Till vanquish'd senates trembled as they praised. 

And here, oh ! here, where yet all young and warm 
The gay creations of his spirit charm, 
The matchless dialogue — the deathless wit, 
Which knew not what it was to intermit ; 
The glowing portraits, fresh from life, that bring 
Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring ; 
These wondrous beings of his Fancy, wrought 
To fulness by the fiat of his thought, 
Here in their first abode you may still meet, 
Bright with the hues of his Promethean heat : 
-A halo of the light of other days, 
Which still the splendour of its orb betrays. 

But should there be to whom the fatal blight 
Of failing Wisdom yields a base delight, 
Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone 
Jar in the music which was born their own, 
Still let them pause — ah ! little do they know 
That what to them seem'd Vice might be but Wo=» 
Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze 
Is fix'd for ever to detract or praise ; 
Repose denies her requiem to his name, 
And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame. 
The secret enemy whose sleepless eye 
Stands sentinel — accuser — judge — and spy, 
The foe — the fool — the jealous — and the vain, 
The envious who but breathe in others' pais. 



♦$* 






-H- 



*t 



3&o B YRON >S POEMS. 

Behold the host ! delighting to depMvo, 

Who track the steps of glory to the grave, 

Watch every fault that daring Genius owes 

Half to the ardour which its birth bestowa, 

Distort the truth, acoumulate the He, 

And pile the pyramid, of Calumny ! 

These are his portion — but if join'd to these 

Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease, 

If the high Spirit must forget to soar, 

And stoop to strive with Misery at the door, 

To soothe Indignity — and face to face 

Meet sordid Rage — and wrestle with Disgrace, 

To find in Hope but the renew' d caress, 

The serpent-fo'd of further Faithlessness :— 

If such may be the ills which men assail, 

"What marvel if at last the mightiest fail ? 

Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given 

Bear hearts electric — charged with fire from heaven, 

Black with the rude collision, inly torn, 

By clouds surrounded,- and on whirlwinds borne, 

Driven o'er the lowering atmosphere that nurst 

Thoughts which have turn'd to thunder — scorch — and burst 

But far from us and from our mimic scene 
Such things should be — if such have ever been ; 
Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task, 
To give the tribute Glory need not ask, 
To mourn the vanish'd beam — and add our mita 
Of praise in payment of a long delight. 
Ye Orators 1 whom yet our councils yield, 
Mourn for the veteran Hero of your field ! 
The worthy rival of the wondrous Three I * 
Whose words were sparks of Immortality ! 
Ye Bards ! to whom the Drama's Muse is dear, 
He was your Master — emulate him here! 
Ye men of wit and social eloquence ! 
He was your brother — bear his ashes hence ! 
While Powers of mind, almost of boundless range, 
Complete in kind — as various in their change, 
While Eloquence — Wit — Poesy — and Mirth, 
That humbler Harmonist of care on Earth, 
Survive within our souls — while lives our sense 
Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence, 
Long shal<l we seek his likeness — long in vain, 
And turn to all of him which may remain, 
Sighing that Nature form'd but one such man, 
And broke the die— in moulding Sheridan. 

Diodftft, fliT nt, ISA 
* Pitt, Fox, tad Bcrfca 



*0* : — : •<■)♦ 



>§> 



STANZAS. 361 



STANZAS TO AUGUSTA. 

Though Lhe day of my destiny's over, 

And the star of my fate hath declined, 
Thy soft heart refused to discover 

The faults which so many could find ; 
though thy soul with my grief was acquainted, 

It shrunk not to share it with me, 
And the love which my spirit hath paintoui 

It never hath found but in thee. 

Then when nature around me is smilinf, 

The last smile which answers to mmo, 
I do not believe it beguiling, 

Because it reminds me of thine ; 
And when winds are at war with the oce&n, 

As the breasts I believed in with me, 
If their billows excite an emotion, 

It is that they bear me from thee. 

Though the rock of my last hope is shiver' d, 

And its fragments are sunk in the wave, 
Though I feel that my soul is deliver'd 

To pain — it shall not be its slave. 
There is many a pang to pursue me : 

They may crush, but they shall not contema— • 
They may torture, but shall not subdue me— 

'Tis of thee that I think — not of them. 

Though human, thou didst not deceive me, 

Though woman, thou didst not forsake, 
Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me, 

Though slander' d, thou never couldst shake,— 
Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me, 

Though parted, it was not to fly, 
Though watchful, 'twas not to defame me, 

Nor mute, that the world might belie. 

Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it, 

Nor the war of the many with one — 
If my soul was not fitted to prize it, 

'Twas folly not sooner to shun : 
And if dearly that error hath cost me, 

And more than I once could foresee, 
I have found that, whatever it lost me, 

It could not deprive me of thee. 

Prom the wreck of the past, which hath peristM, 

Thus much I at least may recall, 
It hath taught me that what I most cherish'd 

Deserved to be dearest of all : 
In the desert a fountain is springing, 

In the wide waste there still is a tree, 
And a bird in the solitude singing, 

Which speaks to my spirit of thea. 




*&< ^ 



*^- 



362 BYROA'S POEMS. 



EPISTLE TO AUGUSTA. 

My sister I my sweet sister ! if a name 
Dearer and purer were, it should be thine, 

Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim 
No tears, but tenderness to answer mine : 

Go where I will, to me thou art the same — ■ 
A loved regret which 1 would not resign. 

There yet are two things in my destiny. — 

A world to roam through, and a home with th€€s 

The first were nothing — had I still the last, 
It were the haven of my happiness ; 

But other claims and other ties thou bast, 
And mine is not the wish to make them lege. 

A strange doom is thy father's son's, and past 
Recalling, as 't lies beyond redress ; 

Reversed for him our grandsire's fate of yore, — 

He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore. 

If my inheritance of storms hath been 
In other elements, and on the rocks 

Of perils, overlook'd or unforeseen, 

I have sustain'd my share of worldly shocks, 

The fault was mine ; nor do I seek to screen 
My errors with defensive paradox ; 

I have been cunning in mine overthrow, 

The careful pilot of my proper woe. 

Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward, 
My whole life was a contest, since the day 

That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd 
The gift, — a fate, or will, that walk'd astray ; 

And I at times have found the struggle hard, 
And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay : 

But now I fain would for a time survive, 

I f but to see what next can well arrive. 

Kingdoms and empires in my little day 
I have outlived, and yet I am not old ; 

And when I look on this, the petty spray 

Of my own years of trouble, which have roll'd 

Like a wild bay of breakers, melts away : 

Something — I know not what — does still uphoLd 

A spirit of slight patience ; — t«ot in vain, 

Even for its own sake, do we purchase pain. 

Perhaps the workings of defiance stir 
Within me, — or perhaps a cold despair, 

Brought on when ills habitually recur, — 
Perhaps a kinder clime, or purer air, 

(For even to this may change of soul refer, 
And with light armour we may learn to bear,) 

Have taught me a strange quiet, which was not 

The chief companion of a calmer lot. 






- *& 



EPISTLE. 363 

t feel almost at times as I have felt 

In happy childhood ; trees, and flowers, and brocks, 
Which do remember me of where I dwelt, 

Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books, 
Come as of yore upon me, and can melt 

My heart with recognition of their looks ; 
And even at moments I could think I see 
Borne living thing to love — but none like thee. 

Here are the Alpine landscapes which create 
A fund for contemplation ; — to admire 

Is a brief feeling of a trivial date ; 

But something worthier do such scenes inspire. 

Here to be lonely is not desolate, 

For much I view which I could most desire, 

And, above all, a lake I can behold 

Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old. 

Oh, that thou wert but with me ! — but I grow 
The fool of my own wishes, and forget 

The solitude which I have vaunted so 
i-u- u- Mju \^-»*rt»#L.Has lost its praise in this but one regret ; 

There may be others which I less may show ;— 
I am not of the plaintive mood, and yet 

I feel an ebb in my philosophy, 

And the tide rising in my alter'd eye. 



x v.. v 



I did remind thee of our own dear Lake, 

By the old Hall which may be mine no mor9. 

Lema n's is fai r ; but think not I forsake 
The sweet remembrance of a dearer shore : 

Sad havoc Time must with my memory make, 
Ere that or thou can fade these eyes before ; 

Though, like all things which I have loved, they aw- 

Resign'd for ever, or divided far. 

The world is all before me ; I but ask 

Of Nature that with which she will comply — 

It is but in her summer's sun to bask, 
To mingle with the quiet of her sky, 

To see her gentle face without a mask, 
And never gaze on it with apathy. 

She was my early friend, and now shall be 

My sister — till I look again on thee. 

I can reduce all feelings but this one ; 

And that I would not ; — for at length I ses 
Such scenes as those wherein my life begun. 

The earliest — even the only paths for me— 
Had I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun, 

1 had been better than I now can be ; 
The passions which have torn me would have sidpfi { 
/ had not suffer* d, and thou hadst not wept. 



*€t 



4\ 



364 BVAON'S POEMS. 

With false Ambition what had I to do ? 

Little with Love, and lea.vt of all with FamO \ 
And yet they came unsought, and with me grew, 

And made me all which they can make — a nanife 
Yet this was not the end I did pursue ; 

Surely I once beheld a nobler aim. 
But all is over — I am one the more 
To baffled millions which have gone before. 

And for the future, this world's future may 
From me demand but little of my cam ; 

1 have outlived myself by many a day ; 

Having survived so many things that were ; 

My years have been no slumber, but the prey 
Of ceaseless vigils ; for I had the share 

Of life which might have fill'd a century, 

Before its fourth in time had pass'd me by. 

And for the remnant which may be to come, 
1 am content ; and for the past I feel 

Not thankless, — for within the crowded sum 
Of struggles, happiness at times would steal, 

And for the present, I would not benumb 
My feelings farther. — Nor shall I conceal 

That with all this I still can look around, 

And worship Nature with a thought profound. 

For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart 
I know myself secure, as thou in mine ; 

We were and are — I am, even as tbou art — 
Beings who ne'er each other can resign ; 

It is the same, together or apart, 

From life's commencement to its slow decline 

We are entwined — let death come slow ©» fast, 

The lie which bound the first endures the l&el '. 



*$y — m 

J. 



*& 



THE DREAM. 



I. 

Oua life is twofold : Sleep hath its own v/orld- 
A boundary between the things misnamed 
Death and existence : Sleep hath its own world* 
And a wide realm of wild reality, 
And dreams in their development have breath, 
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy ; 
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts^ 
They take a weight from off our waking toils, 
They do divide our being ; they become 
A portion of ourselves as of our time, 
And look like heralds of eternity ; 
They pass like spirits of the past — they speak 
Like sibyls of the future ; they "have power — 
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain ; 
They make us what we were not — what they wiLlj 
And shake us with the vision that's gone by, 
The dread of vanish' d shadows — Are they so T 
Is not the past all shadow ? What are they ? 
Creations of the mind ? — The mind can make 
Substance, and people planets of its own 
With beings brighter than have been, and give 
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh. 
I would recall a vision which I dream'd 
Perchance in sleep — for in itself a thought, 
A slumbering thought, is capable of years, 
And curdles a long life into one hour. 

II. 

I saw two beings in the hues of youth 

Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill, 

Green and of mild declivity, the last 

As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such, 

Save that there was no sea to lave its base, 

But a most living landscape, and the wave 

Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes of Ejgfl 

Scatter' d at intervals, and wreathing smoke 

Arising from such rustic roofs ; — the hill 

Was crown' d with a peculiar diadem 

Of trees, in circular array, so fix'd, 

Not by the sport of nature, but of man : 

These two, a maiden and a youth, were there 

Gazing — the one on all that was beneath 

Fair as herself —but the boy gazed on her j 



■4 



4 






366 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And both were young, and one was beautiful t 

And both, were young — yet not alike in youtiu 

As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge, 

The maid was on the eve of womanhood ; 

The boy had fewer summers, but his heart 

Had far outgro wn his years, and to his eye 

There was but one beloved face on earth, 

And that was shining on him ; he had look'd 

Upon it till it could not pass away ; 

He had no breath, no being, but in hem : 

She was his voice ; he did not speak to her, 

But trembled on her words : she was his sights 

For his eye follow'd hers, and saw with hers, 

Which colour 'd all his objects ; — he had ceaser* 

To live within himself ; she was his life, 

The ocean to the river of his thoughts, 

Which terminated all : upon a tone, 

A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow, 

And his cheek change tempestuously — his heart 

Unknowing of its cause of agony. 

But she in these fond feelings had no share: 

Her sighs were not for him ; to her he was 

Even as a brother — but no more ; 'twas much, 

For brotherless she was, save in the name 

Her infant friendship had bestow'd on him ; 

Herself the solitary scion left 

Of a time-honour' d race. — It was a name 

Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not — and v/hy 1 

Time taught him a deep answer — when she loved 

Another ; even now she loved another, 

And on the summit of that hill she stood 

Looking afar if yet her lover's steed 

Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew. 

in. 

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. 

There was an ancient mansion, and before 

Its walls there was a steed caparison'd: 

Within an antique Oratory stood 

The Boy of whom I spake ; — he was alone, 

And pale, and pacing to and fro : anon 

He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced 

Words which I could not guess of ; then he lean'd 

His bow'd head on his hands and shook, as 'twer* 

With a convulsion — then rose again, 

And with his teeth and quivering hands did teaj 

What he had written, but he shed no tears. 

And he did calm himself, and fix his brow 

Into a kind of quiet : as he paused, 

The Lady of his love re- enter' d there ; 

She was serene and smiling then, and yet 

She knew she was by him beloved ; — she knew — 

For quickly comes such knowledge — that his heart 

Was darken'd with her shadow, «."d she saw 



<y 



i> ! 



<>♦ 



THE DREAM. 3 6 7 

That he was wretched, but she saw not &1L 

He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp 

He took her hand ; a moment o'er his face 

A tablet of unutterable thoughts 

Was traoed, and then it faded, as it came ; 

He dropp'd the hand he held, and with slow stcpc 

Retired, but not as bidding her adieu, 

For they did part with mutual smiles ; he pass'd 

From out the massy gate of that old Hall, 

And mounting on his steed he went his way ; 

And ne'er repass'd that hoary threshold more. 

IV. 

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. 
The Boy was sprung to manhood : in the wilds 
Of fiery climes he made himself a home, 
And his Soul drank their sunbeams : he was girt 
With strange and dusky aspects ; he was not 
Himself like what he had been ; on the sea 
And on the shore he was a wanderer ; 
There was a mass of many images 
Crowded like waves upon me, but he wai 
A part of all ; and in the last he lay 
Reposing from the noontide sultriness, 
C'ouch'd among fallen columns, in the shade 
Of ruin'd walls that had survived the names 
Of those who rear'd them ; by his sleeping side 
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds 
Were fasten'd near a fountain ; and a man, 
Clad in a flowing garb, did watch the while, 
While many of his tribe slumber'd around : 
And they were canopied by the blue sky, 
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, 
That God alone was to be seen in heaven. 

v. 

A ch-aige came o'er the spirit of my dream. 
The Lady of his love was wed with One 
Who did not love her better : — in her home, 
A thousand leagues from his, — her native homo, 
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy, 
Daughters and sons of Beauty, — but behold I 
Upon her face there was the tint of grief, 
The settled shadow of an inward strife, 
And an unquiet drooping of the eye, 
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears. 
What could her grief be % — she had all she lovad, 
And he who had so loved her was not there 
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish, 
Or ill-repress' d affliction, her pure thoughts. 
What could her grief be ? — she had loved him nct$ 
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved, 
Nor could he be a part of that which preyM 
Upon her mind — a spectre of the past. 



■$♦ 



368 B YRON'S POEMS. 



VI. 

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. 

The Wanderer was return'd. — I saw him stand 

Before an Altar — with a gentle bride ; 

Her face was fair, but was not that which made 

The Starlight of his Boyhood ; — as he stood 

Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came 

The selfsame aspoot, and the quivering shock 

That in the antique Oratory shook 

His bosom in its solitude ; and then — 

As in that hour — a moment o'er his face 

The tablet of unutterable thoughts 

Was traced — and then it faded as it came, 

And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke 

The fitting vows, but heard not his own words, 

And all things reel'd around him ; he could see 

Not that which was, nor that which should have beetl-*- 

But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall, 

And the remember'd chambers, and the place, 

The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade, 

All things pertaining to that place and hour, 

And her who was his destiny, came back 

And thrust themselves between him and the liffh* : 

What business had they there at such a time ? 

vn. 
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. 
The Lady of his love ; — Oh ! she was changed, 
As by the sickness of the soul ; her mind 
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes, 
They had not their own lustre, but the look 
Which is not of the earth ; she was become 
The queen of a fantastic realm ; her thought* 
Were combinations of disjointed things; 
And forms impalpable and unperceived 
Of others' sight familiar were to hers. 
And this the world calls phrenzy : but the wis© 
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance 
Of melancholy is a fearful gift ; 
What is it but the telescope of truth ? 
Which strips the distance of its fantasies, 
And brings life near in utter nakedness, 
Making the cold reality too real 1 

vm. 
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. 
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore, 
The beings which surrounded him were gone, 
Or were at war with him ; he was a mark 
For blight and desolation, compass'd round 
With Hatred and Contention ; Pain was mia'd 
In all which was served up to him, until, 



*\ 



,/fy 



* 



DARKNESS. 3 6 9 

Like to the Pontic monarch of old days, 

He fed on poisons, and they had no power, 

But wexe a kind of nutriment ; he lived 

Through that which had been death to many man, 

And made him friends of mountains : with the stars 

And the quick Spirit of the Universe 

He held his dialogues ; and they did teach 

To him the magic of their mysteries ; 

To him the book of Night was opeu'd wide, 

And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd 

A marvel and a secret. — Be it so. 

IX. 

My dream is past ; it had no further change. 

It was of a strange order, that the doom 

Of these two creatures should be thus traced out 

Almost like a reality — the one 

To end in madness — both in misery. 



DARKNESS. 

I HAD a dream, which was not all a dream. 
The bright sun was extinguish' d, and the staro 
Did wander darkling in the eternal space, 
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth 
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air ; 
Morn came and went — and came, and brought no day. 
And men forgot their passions in the dread 
Of this their desolation ; and all hearts 
Were chill' d into a selfish prayer for light : 
And they did live by watchfires — and the thronoa, 
The palaces of crowned kings — the fc.uts, 
The habitations of all things which dwell, 
Were burnt for beacons ; cities were consumed, 
And men were gather'd round their blazing homea 
To look once more into each other's face ; 
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye 
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain -torch : 
A fearful hope was all the world contain 'd ; 
Forests were set on fire — but hour by hour 
They fell and faded — and the crackling trunks 
Extinguish'd with a crash — and all was black. 
The brows of men by the despairing light 
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits 
The flashes fell upon them ; some lay down 
And hid their eyes and wept ; and some did rest 
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled^ 
And others hurried to and fro, and fed 
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up 
With mad disquietude on the dull sky, 

2 B 




<} 



370 BYIZON'S POEMS. 

The pall of a past world ; and then again 

With curses cast them down upon the dust, 

And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd : the wild birds shriok'dj 

And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, 

And flap their useless wings ; the wildest brute* 

Came tame and tremulous ; and vipers crawl'd 

And twined themselves among the multitude, 

Hissing, but stingless — they were slain for food • 

And War, which for a moment was no more, 

Did glut himself again ; — a meal was bought 

With blood, and each sate sullenly apart 

Gorging himself in gloom : no love was left ; 

All earth was but one thought — and that was death, 

Immediate and inglorious ; and the pang 

Of famine fed upon all entrails — men 

Died, and their bones were tombless as their Sesh ; 

The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, 

Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, 

And he was faithful to a corse, and kept 

The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, 

Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead 

Lured their lank jaws ; himself sought out no food. 

But with a piteous and perpetual moan, 

And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand 

Which answer'd not with a caress — he died. 

The crowd was famish'd by degrees ; but two 

Of an enormous city did survive, 

And they were enemies : they met beside 

The dying embers of an altar-place 

Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things 

For an unholy usage ; they raked up, 

And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton Lands 

The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath 

Blew for a little life, and made a flame 

Which was a mockery ; then they lifted up 

Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld 

Each other's aspects — saw, and shriek'd, and died— 

Even of their mutual hideousness they died, 

Unknowing who he was upon whose brow 

Famine had written Fiend. The world wai void, 

The populous and the powerful was a lump, 

Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless — 

A lump of death — a chaos of hard clay. 

The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still, 

A-nd nothing stirr'd within their silent depths ; 

Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, 

And their masts fell down piecemeal ; as thej dropp'£ 

They slept on the abyss without a surge — 

The waves were dead ; the tides were in their gray*, 

The Moon, their mistress, had expired before ; 

The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, 

And the clouds perish'd ! Darkness had no need 

Of aid from them — She was the Uni*"M«e ! 

Dlodftti,Jul/ t if«& 



T" 



y 



CHURCHILVS GRAVE. 371 

CHURCHILL'S GRAVE. 

A PACT LITERALLY RENDERED, 

I stood beside the grave of him who blazed 

The comet of a season, and I saw 
The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed 

With not the less of sorrow and of awe 
On that neglected turf and quiet stone, 
With name no clearer than the names unknown, 
Which lay unread around it ; and I ask'd 

The Gardener of that ground, why it might be 
That for this plant strangers his memory task'd 

Through the thick deaths of half a century ? 
And thus he answered — " Well, I do not know 
Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so ; 
He died before my day of Sextonship, 

And I had not the digging of this grave/' 
And is this all? I thought, — and do we rip 

The veil of Immortality ? and crave 
I know not what of honour and of light 
Through unborn ages, to endure this blight ? 
So soon, and so successless ? As I said, 
The Architect of all on which we tread, 
For Earth is but a tombstone, did essay 
To extricate remembrance from the clay, 
Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's thought 

Were it not that all life must end in one, 
Of which we are but dreamers ; — as he caught 
As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun, 
Thus spoke he, — " I believe the man of whom 
You wot, who lies in this selected tomb, 
Was a most famous writer in his day, 
And therefore travellers step from out their way 
To pay him honour, — and n^self whate'er 

I our honour pleases," — then most pleased I snool 
From out my pocket's avaricious nook 
Some certain coins of silver, which as 'twere 
Perforce I gave this man, though I could spare 
So much but inconveniently : — Ye smile, 
I see ye, ye profane ones ! all the while, 
Because my homely phrase the truth would tell 
You are the fools, not I — for I did dwell 
With a deep thought, and with a soften' d eye, 
On that Old Sexton's natural homily, 
In which there was Obscurity and Fame, — 
Vhe Glory and the Nothing of a Name. 

Di odatS, 12Ji 



2B2 



*£>- »i 

372 BYRON'S POEMS. 



PftOMETHEUS. 

Titan ! to whose immortal eyes 

The sufferings of mortality, 

Seen in their sad reality, 
Were not as things that gods despiss • 
What was thy pity's recompense f 
A silent suffering, and intense ; 
The rock, the vulture, and the chain, 
All that the proud can feel of pain. 
The agony they do not show 
The suffocating sense of woe, 

Which speaks but in its loneliness, 
And then is jealous lest the sky 
Should have a listener, nor will sigh 

Until its voice is echoless. 

Titan ! to thee the strife was given 
Between the suffering and the will, 
Which torture where they cannot kil' ) 
And the inexorable Heaven, 
And the deaf tyranny of Fate, 
The ruling principle of Hate, 
Which for ks pleasure doth create 
The things it may annihilate, 
Refused thee even the boon to die ; 
The wretched gift eternity 
Was thine — and thou hast borne it woIL 
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee 
Was but the menace which flung back 
On him the torments of thy rack ; 
The fate thou didst so well foresee, 
But would not to appease him tell ; 
And in thy Silence was his Sentence, 
And in his Soul a vain repentance, 
And evil dread so ill dissembled, 
That in his hand the lightnings trembled. 

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind, 

To render with thy precept less 

The sum of human wretchedness, 
A.nd strengthen Man with his own mind ; 
But baffled as thou wert from high, 
Still in thy patient energy, 
In the endurance, and repulse 

Of thine impenetrable Spirit, 
Which Earth and Heaven could not oonvul3C k ; 

A mighty lesson we inherit : 
Thou art a symbol and a sign 

To Mortals of their fate and force ; 
Like thee, Man is in part divine. 
A troubled stream from a pure source ; 



•&> 



A FRAGMENT. 373 

And Man in portions can foresee 
His own funereal destiny ; 
His wretchedness, and his resistance, 
And his sad unallied existence : 
To which his Spirit may oppose 
Itself — and equal to all woes, 

And a firm will, and a deep sens**, 
Which even in torture can descry 

Its own concenter'd recompense, 
Triumphant where it dares defy, 
And making Death a Victory ! 

D1od»tt,4ol7 .616 



A FRAGMENT. 

COULD I remount the river of my years 

To the first fountain of our smiles and tears, 

I would not trace again the stream of hours 

Between their outworn banks of wither'd flowers, 

But bid it flow as now — until it glides 

Into the number of the nameless tides. . . . 

What is this Death ? — a quiet of the heart I 
The whole of that of which we are a part ? 
For life is but a vision — what I see 
Of all which lives alone is life to me, 
And being so — the absent are the dead, 
Who haunt us from tranquillity, and spread. 
A dreary shroud around us, and invest 
With sad remembrancers our hours of rest. 

The absent are the dead, for they are cold, 
And ne'er can be what once we did behold ; 
And they are changed, and cheerless, — or it" yet. 
The unforgotten do not all forget, 
Since thus divided — equal must it be 
If the deep barrier be of earth, or sea ; 
It may be both — but one day end it must 
In the dark union of insensate dust. 

The under-earth inhabitants — are they 
But mingled millions decomposed to clay ? 
The ashes of a thousand ages spread 
Wherever man has trodden or shall tread ? 
Or do they in their silent cities dwell 
Each in his incommunicative cell ? 
Or have they their own language ? and a sens® 
Of breathless being ? darken' d and intense 
As midnight in her solitude ?— Earth ! 
Where are the past ? — and wherefore had they birth ( 
The dead are thy inheritors — and we 
Cut bubbles op thy surface ; and tLe kev 



i> 



A 



374 B YRON'S POEMS. 

Of thy profundity is in the grave, 

The ebon'd portal of thy peopled cave, 

Where I would walk in spirit, and behold 

Our elements resolved to things untold, 

And fathom hidden wonders, and explore 

The essence of great bosoms now no more. . . . 

Diodatt, Wy, 13K» 



TO LAKE LEMAN. 

Rousseau — Voltaire — our Gibbon — and De Staei — 
Leman ! these names are worthy of thy shore, 
Thy shore of names like these ! wert thou no more 

Their memory thy remembrance would recall : 

To them thy banks were lovely as to all, 

But they have made them lovelier, for the lore 
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core 

Of human hearts the ruin of a wall 
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous ; but by thee, 

How much more, Lake of BeauLy ! do we loci, 
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea, 

The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal, 
Which of the heirs of immortality 

Is proud and makes the breath of glory real ! 



LINES 

Off HEARING THAT LADV BYRON WAS ILL. 

And thou wert sad — yet I was not with thee ! 

And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near ; 
Methought that joy and health alone could bo 

Where I was not — and pain and sorrow here. 
And is it thus ? — it is as I foretold, 

And shall be more so : for the mind recoils 
Upon itself, and the wreck'd heart lies cold, 

While heaviness collects the shatter'd spoils. 
It is not in the storm nor in the strife 

We feel benumb' d, and wish to be no more, 

But in the after-silence on the shore 
When all is lost, except a little life. 

I am too well avenged ! — but 'twas my right ; 

Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent 
To be the Nemesis who should requite — 

Nor did Heaven choose so near an instrument. 
Mercy is for the merciful ! — if thou 
Bast been of such, 'twill be accorded now* 



■4 



<s> 



LINES. 375 

Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep ! — 

Yes ! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt ieel 

A hollow agony which will not heal, 
For thou art pillow' d on a curse too deep ; 
Thou hast sown in my sorrow, and must reap 

The bitter harvest in a woe as real ! 
I have had many foes, but none like thee ; 

For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend, 

And be avenged, or turn them into friend ; 
But thou in safe implacability 

Hadst nought to dread — in thy own weakness shielded, 
And in my love, which hath but too much yielded, 

And spared, for thy sake, some I should not spare— 
And thus upon the world — trust in thy truth — 
And t\e wild fame of my ungovern'd youth — 

On things that were not, and on things that are — 
Even upon such a basis hast thou built 
A monument, whose cement hath been guilt ! 
The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord, 
And hew*d down, with an unsuspected sworri, 
Fame, peace, and hope — and all the better life 

Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart, 
Might still have risen from out the grave of strife. 
And found a nobler duty than to part. 
But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice, 

Trafficking with them in a purpose cold, 

For present anger, and for future gold — 
And buying other's grief at any price. 
And thus once enter' d into crooked ways, 
The early truth, which was thy proper praise, 
Did not still walk beside thee — but at times, 
And with a breast unknowing its own crimes, 
Deceit, averments incompatible, 
Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell 

In Janus-spirits — the significant eye 
vThich learns to lie with silence — the pretext 
Of Prudence, with advantages annex'd — 
The acquiescence in all things which tend, 
No matter how, to the desired end — 

All found a place in thy philosophy. 
The means were worthy, and the end is won— 
I would not do by thee as thou hast done J 



**~af*3SZ3fi&K ** m' * 



4 



T 






MANFRED* 

A DRAMATIC POEM. 



• There are more things In he»v»n and earth, Horatio, 
Thau are dreamt of in your puuosophy." 



©ramatts SjPcrsonae. 



Mavprbd. 
Chamois Hunter. 
Abuot or St. Mai/rick 
Manukl. 

111. KM AN. 



Witch op thk Alps. 

Arimanes. 

Nemesis. 

Thk Destinies. 

Spirits, &c. 



The Scene of the Drama is amongst the Higher Alps — parity vi ihct 
Castle of Manfred, and partly in the Mountains. 



ACT I.— SCENE I. 

Manfred alone. — Scene, a Gothic Gallery. — Time, Midni*)J& 

Man. The lamp must be replenish' d, but even then 
It will not burn so long as I must watch : 
My slumbers — if I slumber — are not sleep, 
But a continuance of enduring thought, 
Which then I can resist not : in my heart 
There is a vigil, and these eyes but close 
To look within ; and yet I live, and bear 
The aspect and the forms of breathing men. 
But grief should be the instructor of the wise ; 
Sorrow is knowledge : they who know the most 
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth, 
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life. 
Philosophy and science, and the springs 
Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world, 
I have essay'd, and in my mind there is 
A power to make these subject to itself — 
But they avail not : I have done men good, 
And I have met with good even among men— 
But this avail'd not : I have had my foes, 
And none have baffled, many fallen before me~— 
But this avail'd not : — Good, or evil, life, 
Powers, passions, all I see in other beings, 
Have been to me as rain unto the sands, 

• Finished in February, 1217, but sot putoliahtd. MoteM? pubUiberl tn tha afttae 
?f that rear. 



_o 



4* 



MANFRED. 377 

Since that all-nameless hour. I have no dread, 

And feel the curse to have no natural fear, 

Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wichos, 

Or lurking love of something on the earth.— 

Now to my task. — 

Mysterious Agency 1 
Ye spirits of the unbounded Universe ! 
Whom I have sought in darkness and in light — 
Ye, who do compass earth about, and dwell 
In subtler essence — ye, to whom the tops 
Of mountains inaccessible are haunts, 
And earth's and ocean's caves familiar things— 
I call upon ye by the written charm 

Which gives me power upon you Rise 1 appear ! 

(/I pau&i. 
They come not yet. — Now by the voice of him 
Who is the first among you — by this sign, 
Which makes you tremble — by the claims of him 

Who is undying, — Rise ! appear I Appear ! 

[A pa'u&j* 
[fit be so. — Spirits of earth and air, 
Ye shall not thus elude me : by a power, 
Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant-spell, 
Which had its birthplace in a star condemn'd, 
The burning wreck of a demolish'd world, 
A wandering hell in the eternal space ; 
By the strong curse which is upon my soul, 
The thought which is within me and around me, 
I do compel ye to my will. — Appear ! 

(\4 star is seen at the darker end of the gcJoery ; 
it is stationary ; and a voice is heard singing » 

f ibst Spirit. 

Mortal ! to thy bidding bow'd, 
From my mansion in the cloud, 
Which the breath of twilight builds, 
And the summer's sunlight gilds 
With the azure and vermilion, 
Which is mix'd for my pavilion ; 
Though thy quest may be forbidden, 
On a star-beam I have ridden ; 
To thine adjuration bow'd, 
Mortal ! be thy wish avow'd ! 

Voice of the Second Spiri?. 

Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains ; 

They crown'd him long ago 
On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds, 

With a diadem of snow. 
Around his waist are forests braced, 

The Avalanche in his hand ; 
But ere it fall, that thundering ball 

Must pause for my command. 




♦6* 



< 



378 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The Glacier's cold and restlofss mass 

Moves onward day by day ; 
But I am he who bids it pass. 

Or with its ice delay. 
I am the spirit of the place, 

Could make the mountain bow 
And quiver to his cavern'd base — 

And what with me wouldst TJicul 

Voice of the Third Spike; 
In the blue depth of the waters. 

Where the wave hath no strife. 
Where the wind is a stranger, 

And the sea-snake hath life. 
Where the Mormaid is decking 

Her green hair with shells : 
Like the storm on the surface 

Came the sound of thy spelb ; 
O'er my calm Hall of Coral 

The deep echo roll'd — 
To the Spirit of Ocean 

Thy wishes unfold ! 

Fourth Spirit. 
Where the slumbering earthquake 

Lies pillow' d on fire, 
And the lakes of bitumen 

Rise boilingly higher ; 
Where the roots of the AnloG 

Strike deep in the earth, 
As their summits to heaven 

Shoot soaringly forth ; 
I have quitted my birthplace, 

Thy bidding to bide — 
Thy spell hath subdued mo, 

Thy will be my guide ! 

Fifth Spirit. 
I am the Rider of the wind, 

The Stirrer of the storm ; 
The hurricane I left behind 

Is yet with lightning warm ; 
To speed to thee, o'er shore and oea 

I swept upon the blast : 
The fleet I met sail'd well, and yet 

'Twill sink ere night be past. 

Sixth Spirit. 
My dwelling is the shadow of the night, 
Why doti toy magio torture me with li^trt? 

Sevbnth SriRTT. 
The star which rules thy destiny 
Was ruled, ere earth began, by ma : 



<v 



MANFRED. 379 

It waa a world as fresh and fair 

As e'er revolved round sun in air ; 

Its course was free and regular, 

Space bosom' d not a lovelier star. 

The hour arrived — and it became 

A wandering mass of shapeless flame, 

A pathless comet, and a curse, 

The menace of the universe ; 

Still rolling on with innate force, 

Without a sphere, without a course, 

A bright deformity on high, 

The monster of the upper sky ! 

And thou ! beneath its influence born — 

Thou worm ! whom I obey and scorn — 

Forced by a power (which is not thine, 

And lent thee but to make thee mine) 

For this brief moment to descend, 

Where these weak spirits round thee bend 

And parley with a thing like thee — 

What wouidst thou, Child of Clay ! with n:e \ 

The Seven Spirits. 
Earth, ocean, air, night, mountains, winds, thy star, 

Are at thy beck and bidding, Child of Clay I 
Before thee at thy quest their spirits are — 

What wouidst thou with us, son of mortals — say ? 

Man. Forgetfulness 

First Spirit. Of what— of whom — and why ? 

Man. Of that which is within me ; read it there- 
Ye know it, and I cannot utter it. 

Spirit. We can but give thee that which we possess : 
A.sk of us subjects, sovereignty, the power 
O'er earth, the whole, or portion, or a sign 
Which shall control the elements, whereof 
We are the dominators, each and all, 
These shall be thine. 

Man. Oblivion, self-oblivion — 

Can ye not wring from out the hidden realms 
Ye offer so profusely what I ask ? 

Spirit. It is not in our essence, in our skill ; 
But — thou may'st die. 

Man. Will death bestow it on me ? 

Spirit. We are immortal, and do not forget ; 
We are eternal ; and to us the past 
Is, as the future, present. Art thou answer'd ? 

Man. Ye mock me — but the power which brought ya hare 
Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will S 
The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark, 
The lightning of my being, is as bright, 
Pervading, and far-darting as your own, 
And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in ola/ 1 
Answer, or I will teach you what I am. 

Spirit. We answer as we answer'd ; our reply 
Is even in thine own wom>> 



380 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Man. Why say ye so ? 

Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ourt>, 
We have replied in telling thee, the thing 
Mortals call death hath nought to do with us. 

Man. I then have call'd ye from your realms in vain ; 
Ye cannot, or ye will rot, aid me. 

Spirit. Say ; 
What we possess we offer ; it is thine : 
Bethink ere thou dismiss us, ask again — 
Kingdom, and sway, and strength, and length of days- 

Man. Accursed ! what have I to do with days ? 
They are too long already. — Hence — begone ! 

Spirit. Yet pause : being here, our will would do thee BfeMot ; 
Bethink thee, is there then no other gift 
Which we can make not worthless in thine eyes ? 

Man. No, none ; yet stay — one moment, ere we pert — 
I would behold ye face to face. I heir 
Your voices, sweet and melancholy sounds. 
As music on the waters ; and I see 
The steady aspect of a clear large star ; 
But nothing more. Approach me as ye are, 
Or one, or all, in your accustom'd forms. 

Spirit. We have no forms beyond the elements 
Of which we are the mind and principle : 
But choose a form — in that we will appear. 

Man. I have no choice ; there is no form on earth 
Hideous or beautiful to me. Let him 
Who is most powerful of ye, take such aspect 
As unto him may seem most fitting — Come ! 

Seventh Spirit. (Appearing in the shape of a beautiful 
female figure.) Behold' 

Man. God ! if it bo thus, and tliou 
\re not a madness and a mockery, 
I yet might be most happy. I will clasp thee, 

And we again will be [Thejigiire vanieha. 

My heart is crush'd. 

[Manfred falls senseless. 

(A Voice is heard in the Incantation which follows.) 

When the moon is on the wave, 

And the glow-worm in the grass, 
And the meteor on the grave, 

And the wisp on the morals ; 
When the falling stars are shooting. 
And the answer'd owls are hooting, 
And the silent leaves are still 
In the shadow of the hill, 
Shall my soul be upon thine. 
With a power and with a sign* 

Though thy slumber may be deep, 
Yet thy spirit shall not sleep ; 
There are shades which will not vanish, 
There are thoughts thou canst not banish J 



4 



^ 



MANFRED, 

By a power to thoe unknown, 
Thou canst never bo alone ; 
Thou art wrapt as with a shroad, 
Thou art gather'd in a cloud ; 
And for ever shalt thou dwell 
In the spirit of this spell. 
Though thou seest me not pass by,, 
Thou shalt feel me with thine eyG 
As a thing that, though unseen, 
Must be near thee, and hath been J 
And when in that secret dread 
Thou hast turn'd around thy head^ 
Thou shalt marvel I am not 
As thy shadow on the spot, 
And the power which thou dost fee'.. 
Shall be what thou must conceal. 

And a magic voice and verse 

Hath baptized thee with a curse ; 

And a spirit of the air 

Hath begirt thee with a snare ; 

In the wind there is a voice 

Shall forbid thee to rejoice ; 

And to thee shall Night deny 

All the quiet of her sky ; 

And the day shall have a sun, 

Which shall make thee wish it done*. 

From thy false tears I did distil 
An essence which has strength to kill ; 
From thine own heart I then did wring 
The black blood in its blackest spring ; 
From thine own smile I snatch'd the snti]f£ 
For there it coil'd as in a brake ; 
From thine own lip I drew the charm 
Which gave all these their chiefest harm ; 
In proving every poison known, 
I found the strongest was thine owe* 

■ 
By thy cold breast and serpent smile, 
By thy unfathom'd gulfs of g uile, 
By that most seemingsvirtuoas oyo, 
By thy shut soul's hypocrisy ; 
By the perfection of thine art 
Which pass'd for human thine own heurft J 
By thy delight in others' pain, 
And by thy brotherhood of Cain, 
[ cedl upon thee ! and compel 
Thyself to be thy proper Hell ! 

And on thy head I pour the vial 
Which doth devote thee to this trial j 
Nor to slumber, nor to die, 
Shall be in thy destiny ; 



38i 



♦*->*■♦ 



-Si 



382 BYRON 'S POEMS. 

Though thy death shall still seorn near 

To thy wish, but as a fear ; 

Lo ! the spell now works around thee, 

And the clankless chain hath bound the© ' y 

O'er thy heart and brain together 

Hath the word been pass'd — now wittier ! 



scene n. 

Th« Mountain of Ike Jungfraw. — Time, Morning. — ManjhTCL 
alone upon the Cliffs. 

Man. The spirits I have raised abandon me— 
The spells which I have studied baffle me — 
The remedy I reck'd of tortured me ; 
I lean no more on superhuman aid, 
It hath no power upon the past, and for 
The future, till the past be gulf'd in darkne&s, 
It is not of my search. — My mother Earth ! 
And thou, fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains, 
Why are ye beautiful ? I cannot love ye. 
And thou, the bright eye of the universe, 
That openest over all, and unto all 
Art a delight — thou shin'st not on my heart. 
And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme C'lge 
I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneat h 
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs 
In dizziness of distance ; when a leap, 
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring 
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed 
To rest for ever — wherefore do I pause ? 
I feel the impulse — yet I do not plunge ; 
I see the peril — yet do not recede ; 
And my brain reels — and yet my foot is firm : 
There is a power upon me which withholds, 
And makes it my fatality to live ; 
If it be life to wear within myself 
This barrenness of spirit, and to be 
My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased 
To justify my deetk «mtwiiiygelf — 
The last infirmity of* ''•* Ay, 
Thou winged and uioi faring minister, 

[An eagUpaua*, 
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven, 
Well may'st thou swoop so near me — I should be 
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets ; thou art gone 
Where the eye cannot follow thee ; but thine 
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above, 
With a pervading vision. — Beautiful ! 
How beautiful is all this visible world ! 
How glorious in its action and itself! 
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we, 
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit 
To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence, make 
& conflict oi its elements, and breathe 



t 






MANFRED. 383 

The breath of degradation and of pride, 

Contending with low wants and lofty will, 

Till our mortality predominates, 

And men are — what they name not to themselves, 

And trust not to each other. Hark ! the note, 

[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance tx ftuar£ 
The natural music of the mountain reed — 
For here the patriarchal days are not 
A pastoral fable — pipes in the liberal air, 
Mix'd with the sweet bells of the sauntering herd ; 
My soul would drink those echoes. — Oh, that I wore 
The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, 
A living voice, a breathing harmony, 
A bodiless enjoyment — born and dying 
With the blest tone which made me ! 

Enter from below a Chamois Hunter. 

Chamois Hunter. Even tx 

This way the chamois leapt : her nimble feet 
Have baffled me ; my gains to-day will scarce 
Repay my break-neck travail. — What is here ? 
Who seems not of my trade, and yet hath reach* d 
A height which none even of our mountaineers, 
Save our best hunters, may attain : his garb 
Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air 
Proud as a freeborn peasant's, at this distance — 
I will approach him nearer. 

Man. (not perceiving the other). To be thus — 
Gray-hair'd with anguish, like these blasted pines, 
Wrecks of a single winter, barkless, branchless, 
A blighted trunk upon a cursed root, 
Which but supplies a feeling to decay — 
And to be thus, eternally but thus, 
Having been otherwise ! Now furrow' d o'er 
With wrinkles, plough'd by moments, not by years 
And hours — all tortured into ages — hours 
Which I outlive ! — Ye toppling crags of ice ! 
Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws dawn 
In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and crush me 1 
I hear ye momently above, beneath, 
Crash with a frequent conflict ; but ye pass 
And only fall on things that still would live ; 
On the young flourishing forest, or the hut 
And hamlet of the harmless villager. 

C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from up the valley ; 
I'll warn him to descend, or he may chance 
To lose at once his way and life together. 

Man. The mists boil up around the glaciers : cloudy 
Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphury, 
Like foam from the roused ocean of deep Hell, 
Whose every wave breaks on a living shorts, 
Heap'd with the damn'd like pebbles. — I am giddy. 

C. Hun. I must approach him cautiously ; if near, 
A sudden step will startle him, and he 
Seems tottering already. 



iK 




•e- 



-*e- 



384 BYXON'S POEMS. 

.If ait. Mountains have fallen, 

Leaving a gap in the clouds, and with the shock 
Rocking their Alpine brethren ; filling up 
The ripe green valleys with destruction's splinterc ; 
Damming the rivers with a sudden dash, 
Which crush' d the waters into mist, and made 
Their fountains find another channel — Thus., 
Thus, in its old age, did Mount Rosenberg — 
Why stood I not beneath it ? 

C. Hun. Friend ! have a care, 

Your next step may be fatal ! — for the love 
Of Him who made you, stand not on that brink ! 

Man. {not hearing him). Such would have been for mo a 
fitting tomb ; 
My bones had then been quiet in their depth : 
They had not then been strewn upon the rocks 
For the wind's pastime — as thus — thus they shall be — 
in this one plunge. — Farewell, ye opening heavens ! 
Look not upon me thus reproachfully — 
You were not meant for me — Earth ! take these atoms ! 

[As Manfred is in act to spring from the cliff, the Chamois 
Hunter seizes and retains aim icith a sudden gratp.] 

ft Hun. Hold, madman ! — though aweary of thy life 
Stain not our pure vales with thy guilty blood — 
Away with me 1 will not quit my hold. 

Man. I am most sick at heart — nay, grasp me not — 
I am all feebleness — the mountains whirl 
Spinning around me 1 grow blind What art thov T 

C. Uu7i. I'll answer that anon. — Away with me 

The clouds grow thicker there — no*v lean on me— 

Place your foot here — here, take this staiT, and clini; 
A. moment to that shrub — now give mo your hand, 
And hold fast by my girdle — softly — well — 
The Chalet will be gain'd within an hour — 
Come on, we'll quickly find a surer footing, 
And something like a pathway, which the tonent 
Hath wash'd since winter. — Come, 'tis bravely done — 
You should have been a hunter. — Follow me. 

[A « they Intend the rods iriih difficulty, the scene cloiiz.] 



ACT IX 

SCENE I. 

A Cottage amongst the Bernese Alps. 

Manfred and the Chamois Hunter. 

C. Hun. No, no — yet pause — thou must not yet ;/o fort/i : 
Thy mind and body are alike unfit 
To trust each other, for some hours, at least ; 
When thou art better, I will be thy guide — 
But whithwr ? 



<£* 



MANFRED. 385 

Jklan. It imports not : I do know 
Ay route full well, and Deed no further guidance. 

C. Hun. Thy garb and gait bespeak thee of high lineage — 
One of the many chiefs whose castled crags 
Look o'er the lower valleys — which of these 
n day call thee lord ? I only know their portals ; 
My way of life leads me but rarely down 
To bask by the huge hearths of those old halls, 
Carousing with the vassals ; but the paths, 
Which step from out our mountains to their doo?3, 
I know from childhood — which of these is thine ? 

Man. No matter. 

C. Hun. Well, sir, pardon me the question, 

And be of better cheer. Come, taste my wine ; 
'Tis of an ancient vintage : many a day 
'Thas thaw'd my veins among our glaciers, now 
Let it do thus for thine — Come, pledge me fairly. 

Man. Away, away, there's blood upon the brim ! 
Will it then never --never sink in the earth ? 

C. Hun. What dost thou mean ? thy senses wander from thea. 

Man. I say 'tis blood — my blood ! the pure warm stream 
Which ran in the veins of my fathers, and in ours 
When we were in our youth, and had one heart, 
And loved each other as we should not love, 
And this was shed : but still it rises up, 
Colouring the clouds, that shut me out from heaven, 
Where thou art not — and I shall never be. 

C. Hun. Man of strange words, and some half-maddening sin 
Which makes thee people vacancy, whate'er 
Thy dread and sufferance be, there's comfort yet — 
The aid of holy men, and heavenly patience 

Man. Patienco and patience ! Hence — that word was made 
For brutes of burthen, not for birds of prey ; 
Preach it to mortals of a dust like thine, — 
I am not of thine order. 

C. Hun. Thanks to Heaven I 

I would not be of thine for the free fame 
Of William Tell : but whatso'er thine ill, 
It must be borne, and these wild starts are useless. 

Alan. Do I not bear it ? — Look on me — I live. 
• C. Hun. This is convulsion, and no healthful life. 

Man. I tell thee, man ! I have lived many years, 
Many long years, but they are nothing now 
To those which I must number : ages — ages — 
Space and eternity — and consciousness, 
With the fierco thirst of death — and still unslaked ! 

C. Hun. Why, on thy brow the seal of middle ago 
Hath scarce been set, I am thine elder far. 

Man. Think'st thou existence doth depend on time 1 
It doth ; but actions are our epochs : mine 
Have made my days and nights imporishablo, 
Endless, and all alike, at bands on the shore, 
Innumerable atoms ; and one de^e: :., 

2o 



-d> 



+ 4 

386 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Barren and cold, on which the wild waves breaks, 
But nothing rests, save carcasses and wrecks, 
Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness. 

C. Ilun. Alas ! he's mad — but yet 1 must not leave hiflfa 

Man. I would 1 were — for then the things I see 
Would be but a distemper'd dream. 

C. Ilun. What is it 

That thou dost see, or think thou look'st upon ? 

Man. Myself, and thee — a peasant of the Alps — 
Thy humble virtues, hospitable home, 
And spirit patient, pious, proud, and free ; 
Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent thoughts ; 
Thy days of health, and nights of sleep ; thy toi'i, 
By danger dignified, yet guiltless ; hopes 
Of cheerful old age and a quiet grave, 
With cross and gar Land over its green turf. 
And thy grandchildren's love for epitaph ; 
This do I see — and then I look within — 
It matters not — my soul was scorch'd already ! 

C. Ilun. And wouldst thou then exchange thy lot for rainet 

Man. No friend ! I would not wrong thee, nor exchango 
My lot with living being : I can bear — 
However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear — 
In life what others could not brook to dream, 
But perish in their slumber. 

C. Ilun. And with this — 

This cautious feeling for another's pain, 
Canst thou be black with evil I — say not so. 
Can one of gentle thoughts have wreak' d revenge 
Upon his enemies ! 

Man. Oh ! no, no, no ! 

My injuries came down on those who loved me — 
On those whom I best loved : I never quell 'd 
An enemy, save in my just defence — 
But my embrace was fatal ! 

C. Hun. Heaven give thee rest I 

And penitence restore thee to thyself; 
My prayers shall be for thee. 

Man. I need them not, 

)ut can endure thy pity. I depart — 
'Tis time — farewell ! — Here's gold, and thanks for thee— 
No words — it is thy due. — Follow me not, 
I know my path — the mountain peril 's past : — 
And once again, I charge thee, follow not ! 

[Exit MANiRZii, 

SCENE II. 

A Lover Vallty in the Alps. — A Cataract. 

Enter Manfred. 

It io not noon — the sunbow's rays still arch * 
The torrent with the many hues of heaven, 

• This iris Is formed by the rayB of the run over the lo-srer part of the Alpine torwntsj 
It 1b exactly like a rainbow r^^r <)nv-r, tc pay a rtsit, and so «l/>*e that you may walk Into 
"3 tltta oJTcct 'sets ti!l boo& 

-&— — +Q 



-&♦ 



MANFRED. 387 

k.nd roll tho sheeted silver's waving column 
O'or the crag's headlong perpendicular, 
And fling its linos of foaming light along, 
And to and fro, like the pale courser's tai!. 
The Giant steed, to bo bestrode by Death, 
As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes 
But niino now drink this sight of loveliness ; 
I should be sole in this sweet solitude, 
And with the Spirit of tho place divide 
The homage of these wators. I will call her. 

[Manfred takes some of the water into the palm oj his hana, 
and flings it in the air, muttering the abjuration. After a 
pause, the Witch Of THE AJLPS rises beneath the ana oftht 
sunbow of the torrent. 

Beautiful Spirit ! with thy hair of light, 

And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form 

The charms of earth's least mortal daughters grow 

To an unearthly stature, in an essence 

Of purer elements ; while the hues of youth, — 

Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek, 

Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart, 

Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight leaves 

Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow, 

The blush of earth, embracing with her heaven, — 

Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame 

The beauties of the sunbow which bends o'er thee. 
[ Beautiful Spirit ! in thy calm clear brow, 
I Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul, 

Which of itself shows immortality, 

I read that thou wilt pardon to a Son 

Of Earth, whom the abstruser powers permit 

At times to commune with them, if that he 

Avail him of his spells to call thee thus, 

And gaze on thee a moment. 

Witch. Son of Earth ! 

I know thee, and the powers which give thee poweir J 

I know thee for a man of many thoughts, 

And deeds of good and ill, extreme in both, 

Fatal and fated in thy sufferings. 

1 have expected this — what wouldst thou with me ? 
f~ Man. To look upon thy beauty — nothing further. 
^-The face of the earth hath madden'd me, and I 

Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce 

To the abodes of those who govern her — 

But they can nothing aid me. I have sought 

From them what they could not bestow, and nov/ 

I search no further. 

Witch. What could be the quest 

Which is not in the power of the most powerful, 

The rulers of the invisible ? 
Man. A boon ; 

But why should I repeat it ? 'twere in vain. 
Witch. I know not that : let thv lips utter it. 
2 e i " 



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388 BYRON'S POEMS, 

Man. Well, though it torture me, 'tis but tl e s . 
My pang shall find a voice. <JVom my youth 
My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men, 
'mh' look'd upon the earth with human ej 
The thirst of their ambition was not mine, 
The aim of their existence was not mine ; 
My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers, 
Made me a stranger ; though 1 wore the form, 
1 had no sympathy with breathing flc 
Nor midst the creatures of clay thai mo 

Was there but one who but of her anon. 

I said, with men, and with the thoughts of un.ii 
I held but shght communion ; but, 
My joy was in the wilderness, to breathe 
The difficult air of the iced mountain's top, 
Where the birds 'hue not build, nor insects winy 
Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plui 
Into the torrent, and to roll along 
On the swill whirl of the new-breaking wave 
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow. 
In these my early strength exulted ; or 
To follow through the night tho moving moon, 
Tho stars and their development ; or catch 
Tho dazzling lightnings till m> BW dim ; 
Or to look, list'ning, on the scatter'u leaves, 
Whilo Autumn winds were at their evening song. 
these were my pastimes, and to be alone ; 
'■"For if the l>eings, of whom I was one, — 
Hating to be so, — crossed me in my path, 
1 let myself degraded back to them. 
And was all day again. And then I di 
In my lone wanderings, to the caves of d» 
Searching its cause in its effect ; and drew 
From witherM bones, and skulls, and heaped-u: du^t, 
Conclusions most forbidden. Then I pass'd 
The nights of years in sciences untaught, 
Save in the old time ; and with time and toil, 
And terrible ordeal, and such penance 
As in itself hath power upon the air, 
And spirits that do compass air and earth, 
• pace, and the peopled infinite; I made 
Mine eyes familiar with Eterni 
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and 
He who from out their fountain dwellings raised 
Eros and Anteros,* at Gadara, 
As I do thee ; — and with my knowledge grew 
The thirst of knowledge, and the power and joy 
Of this most bright intelligence, until 

Witch. Proceed. 

Man. Oh ! I but thus prolong my words, 

Boasting these idle attributes, because 

• The philosopher Jamblicus. The stnrv •>{ the raLsiu^ of Ere* had jLOteraa u..iy be 
'uuui ui hi* lilt) by Eunapius. It ic w*U totd 

+£}* ^(5 



< 



1 



.MANFRED. 3 8 9 

As I ■pp.'oach tho coro of my heart's grief- 
But to my tusk. I havo not named to tiioe 
Father or mothor, mis tress , friend, or beings 
With whom I wore tho chain of human ti< j 
If I had such, thoy seom'd not such to me— 
Yet there was ono 

Witch. Sparc not thyself — proceed. 

Man. She was like me in lineament j — lior oyeF, 
fler hair, her features, all, to tho very tone 
Even of her voice, they said were like to mine ; 
But sot'tcn'd all, and temper' d into beauty : 
She had tho sarao lone thoughts and wanderings, 
The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind 
To comprehend the universe : nor these 
Alone, but with them gentler powers than mine, 
Pity, and smiles, and tears — which I had not ; 
And tenderness — but that I had for her ; 
Humility — and that I never had. 
Her faults were mine — her virtues were her own — 
I loved her, and destroy'd her ! 

Witch. With thy hand! 

Man. Not with my hand, but heart — which broke her hoait fr- 
it gazed on mine, and withered. I have shed 
Blood, but not hers — and yet her blood was shed ; — 
I saw — and could not stanch it. 

Witch. And for this — 

A being of the race thou dost despise, 
The order which thine own would rise above, 
Mingling with us and ours, thou dost forego 
The gifts of our great knowledge, and shrink' st back 
To recreant mortality Away ! 

Man. Daughter of Air ! I tell thee, since that hour- 
But words are breath — look on me in my sleep, 
Or watch my watchings — Come and sit by me ! 
My solitude is solitude no more, 
But peopled with the Furies ; — I have gnash'd 
My teeth in darkness till returning morn, 
Then cursed myself till sunset ; I have pray'd 
For madness as a blessing — 'tis denied me ; 
I have affronted death — but in the war 
Of elements the waters shrunk from me, 
And fatal things pass'd harmless — the cold hand 
Of an all-pitiless demon held me back, 
Back by a single hair, which would not break. 
In fantasy, imagination, all 
The affluence cf my soul — which one day was 
A Croesus in creation — I plunged deep, 
But, like an ebbing wave, it dash'd me back 
Into the gulf of my unfathom'd thought, 
I plunged amidst mankind — Forgetfulness 
I sought in all, save where 'tis to be found, 
And that I have to learn — my sciences, 
My long-pursued and superhuman art 




- ' I 



■4 



390 B YR ON 'S POEMS. 

Is mortal here — I dwell in my despair — ■ 
And live — and live for ever. 

Witch. It may be 

That I can aid thee. 

Man. To do this thy power 

Must wake the dead, or lay me low with thorn. 
Do so — in any shape — in any hour — 
With any torture — so it be the last. 

Witch. That is not in my province ; but if thou 
Wilt swear obedience to my will, and do 
My bidding, it may help thee to thy wishes. 

Man. I will not swear — Obey ! and whom ? the oplrits 
Whose presence I command, and be the slave 
Of those who served me — Never ! 

Witch. Is this all ? 

Hast thou no gentler answer ? — Yet bethink thee, 
And pause ere thou rejectest. 

Man. I have said it 

Witch. Enough ! — I may retire then — say ! 

Man. Retire ! 

[The Witch disappears. 

Man. (alone). We are the fools of time and terror : days 
Steal on us and steal from us ; yet we live, 
Loathing our life, and dreading still to die. 
In all the days of this detested yoke — 
This vital weight upon the struggling heart, 
Which sinks with sorrow, or beats quick with pain, 
Or joy that ends in agony or fain tn ess — 
lu all the days of past and future, for 
In life there is no present, we can number 
How few — how less than few — wherein the soul 
Forbears to pant for death, and yet draws back 
As from a stream in winter, though the chill 
Be but a moment's. I have one resource 
Still in my science — I can call the dead, 
And ask them what it is we dread to be : 
The sternest answer can but be the Grave, 
And that is nothing. If tbey answer not — 
The buried Prophet answer'd to the Hag 
Of Endor ; and the Spartan Monarch drew 
From the Byzantine maid's unsleeping spirit 
An answer and his destiny — he slew 
That which he loved, unknowing what he slew, 
And died unpardon'd — though he call'd in aid 
The Phyxian Jove, and in Phigalia roused 
The Arcadian Evocators to compel 
The indignant shadow to depose her wrath, 
Or fixed her term of vengeance — she replied 
In words of dubious import, but fulfill'd.* 
If I had never lived, that which I love 

• The story of Pausaniaa, king of Sparta (who commanded the Greeks at the haitl* a* 
fl&tea, and afterwards perished for an attempt to betray the Lacedemonians}, auj 
Cleonice, is told in Plutarch's Life of Cimon ; and in the Laconics of Paus&jun* Utc 
tophUt, In hi* description of Greece. 



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MANFRED. 391 

Had still been living : bad I never lovel 

Tbat whick I love would still be beautiful — 

Happy and giving happiness. What is sho f 

What is she now f — a sufferer for my sins — 

A thing I dare not think upon — or nothing. 

Within few hours I shall uot call in vain — 

Yet in this hour I dread the thing I dare : 

Until this hour I never shrunk to gaze 

On spirit, good or evil — now I tremble, 

And feel a strange cold thaw upon my heart. 

But I can act even what I most abhor, 

And champion human fears. The night approaciiJS. 

[JBmL 

SCENE III. 

The summit of the Jungfrau Mountain* 

Enter First Destiny. 

The moon is rising broad, and round, and bright ; 

And here on snows, where never human foot 

Of common mortal trod, we nightly tread, 

And leave no traces ; o'er the savage sea, 

The glassy ocean of the mountain ice, 

We skim its rugged breakers, which put on 

The aspect of a tumbling tempest's foam, 

Frozen in a moment — a dead whirlpool's imag© : 

And this most steep fantastic pinnacle, 

The fretwork of some earthquake — where the cloud/s 

Pause to repose themselves in passing by — 

Is sacred to our revels, or our vigils ; 

Here do I wait my sisters, on our way 

To the Hall of Arimanes, for to-night 

Is our great festival — 'tis strange they come not. 

A Voice without, singing. 
The Captive Usurper, 

Hurl'd down from the throne, 
Lay buried in torpor, 

Forgotten and lone ; 
I broke through bis slumbers, 

I shiver'd his chain, 
I leagued him with numbers — 
He 's Tyrant again ! 
With the blood of a million he'll answer my care, 
With a nation's destruction — his flight and despair. 

Second Voice, without. 
The ship sail'd on, the ship sail'd fast, 
But I left not a sail, and I left not a mast ; 
There is not a plank of the hull or the deck, 
And there is not a wretch to lament o'er his wreck \ 
Save one, whom I held, as he swam, by the hair, 
And he was a subject well worthy my care, 



T* 



■-H- 



-*■£ 



392 BYRON'S FORMS. 

A traitor on land, and a pirate at sea. — 

But I saved him to wreak further havoc for rue ! 

First Destiny, answering. 

The city lies sleeping ; 

The morn, to deplore it, 
May dawn on it weeping : 

Sullenly, slowly, 
The black plague flew o'er it— 

Thousands he lowly ; 
Ten3 of thousands shall perish— 

The living shall fly from 
The sick they shall cherish ; 

But nothing can vanquish 
The touch that they die from. ' 

Sorrow and anguish, 
And evil and dread, 

Envelope a nation — 
The blest arc the dead, 

Who see not the sight 

Of their own desolation— - 

This work of a night — 

This wreck of a realm — this deed of my doing — 

For ages I've done, and shall still be renewing J 

Enter the Second and Third Destinies. 
The Three. 

Our hands contain the hearts of men, 

Our footsteps are their graves ; 
We only give to take again 

The spirits of our slaves ! 

First Des. Welcome ! — Where's Nemesis ? 
Second Dts. At somo great vork ; 

But what I know not, for my hands were full. 
Third Des. Behold she cometh. 

Enter Nemesis. 

First Des. Say where hast thou been ? 

My sisters and thyself are slow to-night. 

Nem. I was detain'd repairing shatter' d thrones, 
Marrying fools, restoring dynasties, 
Avenging men upon their enemies, 
And making them repent their own revenge ; 
Goading the wise to madness ; from the dull 
Shaping out oracles to rule the world 
Afresh, for thoy were waxing out of date, 
And mortals dared to ponder for themselves, 
To weigh kings in the balance, and to speak 
Of freedom, the forbidden fruit. — Away ! 
We have outstay' d the hour — mount we our clouds ! 

[Haevuit. 



& 






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MANFRED. 393 



Scene iv. 

\Thi JUall of Arimanes — Arimanes on his Throne, a Glooe 
of Fire, surrounded by the Spirits. 

Hymn of tfie Spirits. 

Hail to our Master ! — Prince of Earth and Air ! 

Who walks the clouds and waters — in his hand 
The sceptre of the elements, which tear 

Themselves to chaos at his high command ! 
He breatheth — and a tempest shakes the sea ; 

He speaketh— .and the clouds reply in thunde? ; 
ITe gazeth — from his glance the sunbeams flee ; 

He moveth — earthquakes rend the world asundor 
Deneath his footsteps the volcanoes rise ; 

His shadow is the Pestilence ; his path 
The comets herald through the crackling skiea ; 

And planets turn to ashes at his wrath. 
To him War offers daily sacrifice ; 

To him Death pays his ti'ibute ; Life is his 
With all its infinite of agonies — 

And his the spirit of whatever is ! 

Enter the Destinies and Nemesis. 

First Des. Glory to Arimanes ! on the earth 
His power increaseth — both my sisters did 
His bidding, nor did I neglect my ducy ! 

Second Des. Glory to Arimanes ! we who bow 
The necks of men, bow down before his throne ! 

Third Des. Glory to Arimanes ! we wait 
His nod ! 

Nem. Sovereign of sovereigns ! we are thine, 

And all that liveth, more or less, is ours, 
And most things wholly so ; still to increase 
Our power, increasing thine, demands our care, 
And we are vigilant — Thy late commands 
Have been fulfiU'd to the utmost. 

Enter Manfred. 

A Spirit. What is here ? 

A mortal ! — Thou most rash and fatal wretch, 
Bow down and worship ! 

Second Spirit. I do know the man — 

A. Magian of great power, and fearful skill ! 

Third Spirit. Bow down, and worship, slave ! — 
What, know*st thou not 
Thine and our Sovereign ? — Tremble and obey ! 

All the Spirits. Prostrate thyself, and thy condemned olav 
Child of the Earth ! or dread the worst. 

Man. I know it ; 

And yet ye see I kneel not. 

Fourth Spirit. 'Twill be taught thee. 

Man. 'Tis taught already ; — many a night on the earth, 
On the bare ground, have I bow'd down my face* 



4 



4 



394 BYRON'S POEMS. 

And strew'd my head with ashee; I have knovm 

The fulness of humiliation, for 

1 sunk before my vain despair, and knelt 

To my own desolation. 

Fifth Spii~U. Dost thou dare 

Refuse to Arimanes on his throne 
What the whole earth accords, beholding not 
The torror of his Glory ? — Crouch ! I say. 

Man. Bid him bow down to that which is above hiiu. 
The overruling Infinite — the Maker 
Who made him not for worship — let him kneel, 
And we will kneel together. 

The Spirits. Crush the worm ! 

Tear him in pieces ! — 

First Des. Hence ! Avaunt ! he's mine, 
Prince of the Powers invisible ! This man 
Is of no common order, as his port 
And presence here denote ; his sufferings 
Have been of an immortal nature, like 
Our own ; his knowledge, and his powers and will, 
As far as is compatible with clay, 
Which clogs the ethereal essence, have been such 
As clay hath seldom borne ; his aspirations 
Have been beyond the dwellers of the earth, 
And they have only taught him what we know — 
That knowledge is not happiness, and science 
But an exchange of ignorance for that 
Which is another kind of ignorance. 
This is not all — the passions, attributes 
Of earth and heaven, from which no power, norberig 
Nor breath from the worm upwards, is exempt, 
Have pierced his heart ! and in their consequence 
Made him a thing, which I, who pity not, 
Yet pardon those who pity. He is mino, 
And thine, it may bo — be it so, or not, 
No other Spirit in this region hath 
A soul like his — or power upon his soul. 

Nem. What doth he here then ? 

First Des. Let him answer that. 

Man. Ye know what I have known ; and without power 
I could not bo amongst ye : but there are 
Powers deeper still beyond — I come in quest 
Of such, to answer unto what I seek. 

Nem. What wouldst thou ? 

Man. Thou canst not reply to wc 

Call up the dead — my question is for them. 

Nem. Great Arimanes, doth thy will avouch 
The wishes of this mortal ? 

A ri. Yea. 

Nem. Whom wouldst UxXi 

Uncharnelf 

Man. One without a tomb — call up 

Astarte. 



4 



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• MANFRED. 395 



Nemesis 

Shadow ! or Spirit ! 

Whatever thou art, 
Which still doth inherit 

The whole or a part 
Of the form of thy birth, 

Of the mould of thy t 
Which return'd to the earthy 

Reappear to the day ! 
Bear what thou bores t, 

The heart and the form, 
And the aspect thou worcst 

Redeem from the worm. 
Appear ! — Appear ! — Appear ! 
Who sent thee there requires thee here \ 

[The Phantom of Astabte rises and stand* 
in the midst. 

Man. Can this be death ? there 's bloom upon her cheek } 
Bat now I see it is no living hue, 
But a strange hectio, like the unnatural red 
Which Autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf 
It is the same ! Oh, God ! that I should drea 
To look upon the same — Astarte ! — No, 
I cannot speak to her — but bid her speak — 
Forgive me or condemn me. 

Nemesis. 
By the power which hath broken 

The grave which enthrall' d thee, 
Speak to him who hath spoken, 

Or those who have call'd thee ! 

Man. She is silent. 

And in that silence I am more than answer'd. 

Nein. My power extends no further. Prince of Air 5 
It rests with thee alone — command her voice. 

Ari. Spirit — obey this sceptre ! 

Nem. Silent still I 

She is not of our order, but belongs 
To the other powers. Mortal ! thy quest is vain, 
And we are baffled also. 

Man. Hear me, hear me— 

Astarte ! my beloved ! speak to me : 
I have so much endured — so much endure — 
Look on me ! the grave hath not changed thee mat* 
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst mo 
Too much, as I loved thee : we were not made 
To torture thus each other, though it were 
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved. 
Say that thou loath 'st me not — that I do bear 
This punishment for both — that thou wilt be 
One of the blessed — and that I shall die ; 
For hitherto all hateful things conspire 



K- 



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< 



4- 



396 BYRON'S POEMS. 

To bind me in existence — in a life 

Which makes me shrink from immoi'tality— 

A. future like the past. I cannot rest. 

I know not what I ask, nor what I seek : 

I feel but what thou art — and what I am ; 

And I would hear yet once before I perish 

The voice which was my music — Speak to rae ! 

For I have call'd on thee in the still night, 

Startled the slumbering birds from the hush'd bought 

And woke the moxmtain wolves, and. made tha caves 

Acquainted with thy vainly-echoed name, 

Which answer'd me — many things answer'd mo — 

Spirits and men — but thou wert silent all. 

Yet speak to me ; I have outwatch'd the stare, 

And gazed o'er heaven in vain in search of thee-. 

Speak to me ! I have wander' d o'er the earth, 

And never found thy likeness — Speak to mo ! 

Look on the fiends around — they feel for me : 

I fear them not, and feel for thee alone — 

Speak to me ! though it be in wrath ; — but say — 

I reck not what — but let me hear thee once — 

This once — once more ! 

Phantom of Astarte. Manfred ! 

Man. Say on, say on — 

I live but in the sound — it is thy voice ! 

Phan. Manfred ! To-morrow ends thine earthly ills. 
Farewell ! 

Man. Yet one word more — am I forgiven ? 

Phan. Farewell ! 

Man. Say, shall we meet again ? 

Phan Farewell ! 

Man. One word for mercy ! Say, thou lovest me. 

Phan. Manfred ! 

[The Spirit of Astarte disappears. 

Nem. She 's gone, and will not be recaLTd ; 

Her words will be fulfill'd. Return to the earth. 

A Spirit. He is convulsed — This is to be a mortal, 
And seek the things beyond mortality. 

Another Spirit. Yet, see, he mastereth himself, and make: 
His torture tributary to his will. 
Had he been one of us, he would have made 
An awful spirit. 

Nem. Hast thou further question 

Of our great sovereign, or his worshippers ? 

Man. None. 

Nem. Then for a time farewell. 

Man. We meet then ! Where ? On the earth ? — 
Even as thou wilt : and for the grace accorded 
f now depart a debtor. Fare ye well ! 

[Exit Manfrei:. 



(Scene closes. J 

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*<&• 



MANFRED. 397 



ACT III. 

SCENE I. 

A 11 all in the Castle of Man/; , '.. 
Manfred and Herman. 

/"a. What is the hour ? 

Her, It wants but one till sunset, 

knd promises a lovely twilight. 

Man. Say, 

Are all things so disposed ©f in the tower 
As I directed ? 

Her. All, my lord, are ready : 

Here is the key and casket. 

Man. It is well : 

Thou mayst retire. [Exit Hebmasj. 

Man {alone). Tnere is a calm upon me — 

Inexplicable stillness ! which till now 
Did not belong to what I knew of life. 
If that I did not know philosophy 
To be of all our vanities the motliest, 
The merest word that ever fool'd the ear 
From out the schoolman's jargon, I should deem 
The golden secret, the sought " Kalon," found, 
And seated in my soul. It will not last, 
But it is well to have known it, though but once : 
It hath enlarged my thoughts with a new sense, 
And I within my tablets would note down 
That there is such a feeling. Who is there ? 

Re-enter Herman. 

Her. My lord, the Abbot of St. Maurice craves 
To greet your presence. 

Enter the Abbot of St. Maurice. 

A bbot. Peace be with Count Ma-nfred ! 

Man. Thanks, holy father ! welcome to these walls , 
Thy presence honours them, and blesseth those 
Who dwell within them. 

Allot. Would it were so, Count ! — 

But I would fain confer with thee alone. 

Man. Herman, retire. — What would my reverend guest * 

Abbot. Thus, without prelude : — Age and zeal, my office 
And good intent, must plead my privilege ; 
Our near, though not acquainted neighbourhood, 
May also be my herald. Eumours strange, 
And of unholy nature, are abroad. 
And busy with thy name ; a noble name 
For centuries : may he who bears it now 
Transmit it unimpair'd ! 

Kan. Proceed,—! listen. 



v-r - H 



* 



•*■ 



398 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the things 
W hich are forbidden to the search of man ; 
That with the dwellers of the dark abodes. 
The many evil and unheavenly spirits 
Which walk the valley of the shade of death, 
Thou communest. I know that with mankind, 
Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely 
Exchauge thy thoughts, and that thy solitude 
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy. 

Man. And what are they who do avouch these things \ 

Abbot. My pious brethren — the scared peasantry — 
Fven thy own vassals — who do look on thee 
With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril. 

Man. Take it. 

Abbot. I come to save, and not destroy— 

I would not pry into thy secret soul ; 
But if these things be sooth, there still is time 
For penitence and pity : reconcile thee 
With the true church, and through the church to Hcr.^r^. 

Man. I hear thee. This is my reply : whate'er 
I may have been, or am, doth rest between 
Heaven and myself. — I shall not choose a mortal 
, To h°> my mediator. Have I sinn'd 
Ag^-.ist your ordinances ? prove and punish ! 

A bbot. My son ! 1 did not speak of punishment, 
But ponitence and pardon ; — with thyself 
The choice of such remains — and for the last, 
Our institutions and our strong belief 
Have given me power to smooth the path fror. 
To higher hope and better thoughts ; the first 
1 leave to Heaven, — " Vengeance is Mine alone 1 * 
So saith the Lord, and with all humbleness 
His servant echoes back the awful word. 

Man. Old man ! there is no power in holy mea, 
Nor charm in prayer — nor purifying form 
Of penitence — nor outward look — nor fast 
Nor agony — nor, greater than all these, 
The innate tortures of that deep despair, 
Which is remorse without the fear of hell, 
But all in all sufficient to itself 
Would make a hell of heaven — can exorcise 
From out the unbounded spirit, the quick senae 
Of its own sins, wrongs, sufferance, and revecgv 
Upon itself ; there is no future pang 
Can deal that justice on the self-condemn'd 
He deals on his own soul. 

Abbot. All this is well ; 

For this will pass away and be succeeded 
By an auspicious hope, which shall look up 
With calm assurance to that blessed place, 
Which all who seek may win, whatever be 
Their earthly errors, so they be atoned : 
And the commencement of atonement is 
The sense ^f its necessity. — Say on— 



4" 



♦& 



4* 



MANFRED. 399 

And all our church can teach theo shall be taught ; 
And all we can absolve thee shall be pardon'd. 

Man When Rome's sixth emperor was near hb loc't. 
The victim of a self-inflicted wound, 
To shun the torments of a public death 
[ f, rom senates once his slaves, a certain soldier, 
With show of loyal pity, would have stanch'd 
The gushing throat with his officious robe ; 
' The dying Roman thrust him back, and said- 
Some empire still in his expiring glance — 
" Tt is too late — is this fidelity ? " 

Abbot. And what of this ? 

Man. I answer with the Ronuaa- 

" It is too late ! " 

Abbot. It never can be so, 

To reconcile thyself with thy own soul, 
And thy own soul with Heaven. Hast thou no hope ? 
'Tis strange — even those who do despair above, 
Yet shape themselves some fantasy on earth, 
To which frail twig they cling, like drowning men. 

Man. Ay — father ! I have had those earthly visions - 
And noble aspirations in my youth, 
To make my own the mind of other men, 
1 The enlightener of nations ; and to rise 
I knew not whither — it might be to fall ; 
But fall even as the mountain-cataract, 
Which having leapt from its more dazzling height, 
Even in the foaming strength of its abyss 
( Which casts up misty columns that become 
Clouds raining from the reascended skies), 
Lies low but mighty still. — But this is past, 
My thoughts mistook themselves. 

Abbot. And wherefore bo H 

Man. I could not tame my nature down ; for he 
Must serve who fain would sway — and soothe — and sue — 
And watch all time — and pry into all place — 
And be a living lie — who would become 
] A mighty thing_amongst the mean, and such 
The mass are ; U disdain'd to mingle with 
A herd, though fo be leader — and of wolves. 
The lion is alone, and so am I. 

Abbot. And why not live and act with other mon ? 

Man. Because my nature was averse from life ; 
And yet not cruel ; for I would not make, 
But find a desolation : — like the wind, 
The red-hot breath of the most lone simoom, 
Which dwells but in the desert, and sweeps o'er, 
The barren S&nds which bear no slirubs to blast, 
And revels o'er their wild and arid waves. 
And seeketh not, so that it is not sought, 
But being met is deadly ; such haih been 
The course of my existence ; but there co^>':» 
Thing's in my path which are uu more- 



"T" 



4+ 



-h4 



4CO B YR ON 'S POE MS. 

Abbot Alael 

I 'gin to fear that thou art past all aid 
From me and from my calling ; yet so young, 
I still would 

Man. Look on me ! there is an order 
Of mortals on the earth, who do becomo 
Old in their youth, and die ere middle aae, 
Without the violence of warlike death ; 
Some perishing of pleasure — some of study — 
Some worn with toil — some of mere wearinoas — 
Some of disease — and some insanity — 
And some of wither'd, or of broken hearts ; 
For this last is a malady which slays 
More than are number' d in the lists of Fate, 
Taking all shapes, and bearing many names. 
Look upon me ! for even of all these things 
Have I partaken ; and of all these things, 
One were enough ; then wonder not that I 
Am what I am, but that I ever was, 
Or having been, that I am still on earth. 

Abbot. Yet, hear me still 

Man. Old man ! 1 do rojpscrt. 

Thine order, and revere thy years ; I deem 
The purposo pious, but it is in vain : 
Think me not churlish ; I would spare thyself, 
Far more than me, in shunning at this time 
All further colloquy — and so — farewell. 

[Exit MANPfflSL 

Abbot. This should have been a noble creature ; ho 
Hath all the energy which would have made 
A goodly frame of glorious elements, 
Had they been wisely mingled ; as it is, 
It is an awful chaos — light and darkness — 
And mind and dust — and passions and pure thoughl?, 
Mix'd, and contending without end or order, 
All dormant or destructive ; he will perish, 
And yet he must not ; I will try once more, 
For such are worth redemption ; and my duty 
Is to dare all things for a righteous end. 
I '11 follow him — but cautiously, though surely. 

[Exit An.BOT. 



SCENE II. 

A mother Chamber. 

Manfred and Herman. 

fl's?r. My lord, you bade me wait on you at EU255t. : 
13 e sinks behind the mountain. 

Man. Doth he so ? 

1 will look on him. 

[Ma^fjjisz) advances to the Window qf tki HalL 



4 



■<j>* 



MANFRED. 401 

Glorious Orb ! the idol 
Of early nature, and the vigorous race 
Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons * 
Of the embrace of angels with a sex 
More beautiful than they, which did draw down 
The erring spirits, who can ne'er return. — 
Most glorious orb ! that wert a worship, ere 
The mystery of thy making was reveal'd ! 
Thou earliest minister of the Almighty, 
Which gladden'd, on their mountain tops, the hearte 
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they pour'd 
Themselves in orisons ! Thou material God ! 
And representative of the Unknown — 
Who chose thee for His shadow ! Thou chief star I 
Centre of many stars ! which mak'st our earth 
Endurable, and temperest the hues 
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays ! 
Sire of the seasons ! Monarch of the climes, 
And those who dwell in them ! for near or far, 
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee, 
Even as our outward aspects ; — thou dost rise, 
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well ! 
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance 
Of love and wonder was for thee, theD take 
My latest look : thou wilt not beam on one 
To whom the gifts of life and warmth have been 
Of a more fatal nature. He is gone : 
1 follow. [Exit MANfrnaix 



scene m. 

The Mountains — the Castle of Manfred at some distance — A 
Terrace before a Tower. — Time, Twilight. 

Herman, Manuel, and other Dependants of Manfred. 

Her. 'Tis strange enough ; night after night, for years. 
He hath pursued long vigils in this tower, 
Without a witness. I have been within it,— 
So have we all been oft-times : but from it, 
Or its contents, it were impossible 
To draw conclusions absolute, of aught 
His studies tend to. To be sure, there is 
One ohamber where none enter : I would give 
The fee of what I have to come these three years, 
To pore upon its mysteries. 

Manuel. 'Twere dangerous ; 

Content thyself with what thou knoVst already. 

Her. Ah ! Manuel ! thou art elderly and wise, 

• " And it came to pass, that the Sons of Sod saw the daughters of men, that they 
were fair," &c. — " There were giants in the earth in those days ; and also after that, when 
the Sons of Bod came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, 
the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."— Qeitetit, ch. vi. 
Wean 8 «»d 1— B. 

2D 




4 



-fa— 



402 BYRON 'S FOE MS. 

And couldst say much ; thou hast dwelt within the casufc— - 
How many years is't ? 

Manuel. Ere Count Manfred's birtlk, 

I served his father, whom he nought resembles. 

Her. There be more sons in like predicament. 
But wherein do they differ] 

Manuel. I speak aafi 

Of features or of form, but mind and habits ; 
Count Sigismund was proud, — but gay and free, — 
A warrior and a reveller ; he dwelt not 
With books and solitude, nor made the night 
A gloomy vigil, but a festal time, 
Merrier than day ; he did not walk the rocks 
And forests like a wolf, nor turn aside 
From men and their delights. 

Her. Beshrew the hour 

But those were jocund times ! I would that such 
Would visit the old walls again ; they look 
As if they had forgotten them. 

Manuel. These walls 

Must change their chieftain first. Oh ! I have seen 
Some strange things in them, Herman. 

Her. Come, be friendly ; 

Relate me some to while away our watch : 
I've heard thee darkly speak of an event 
Which happen'd hereabouts, by this same tower. 

Manuel. That was a night indeed ! I do rememb&r 
'Twas twilight, as it may be now, and such 
Another evening ; — yon red cloud, which rests 
On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then, — 
So like that it tnignt be the same ; the wind 
Was faint and gusty, and the mountain snows 
Began to glitter with the climbing moon ; 
Count Manfred was, as now, within his tower, — 
How occupied, we knew not, but with him 
The sole companion of his wanderings 
And watchings — her, whom of all earthly things 
That lived, the only thing he seem'd to love,— 
As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do, 

The Lady Astarte, his 

Hush ! who comes here ) 

Enter the Abbot. 

Allot. Where is your master? 

Her. Yonder, in tne tower 

Allot. I must speak with him. 

Manuel. 'Tis impossible ; 

He is most private, and must not be thus 
Intruded on. 

Allot. Upon myself 1 take 

The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be — 
But I must see him. 

Her. Thou hast seen him onoe 

Tb\s eve already. 



4 



<&♦ 



MANFRED. 403 

Abbot. Herman ! I command thee, 

Knock, and apprise the Count of my approach. 

Her. We dare not. 

Abbot. Then it seems I must be herald 

Of my own purpose. 

Manuel. Reverend father, stop — 

I pray you pause. 

Abbot. Why so? 

Manuel. But step this way, 

Ajid I will tell you further. [Exeunt. 



SCENE IV. 

Interior of the Tower. 

Manfred alone. 

The stars are forth, the moon above the tops 
Of the snow-shining mountains. — Beautiful ! 
I linger yet with Nature, for the night 
Hath been to me a more familiar face 
Than that of man ; and in her starry shade 
Of dim and solitary loveliness, 
I learn'd the language of another world. 
I do remember me, that in my youth, 
When I was wandering, — upon such a night 
I stood within the Coliseum's wall, 
Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome ; 
The trees which grew along the broken archee 
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stais 
Shone through the rents of ruin ; from afar 
The watchdog bay'd beyond the Tiber ; and 
More near from out the Caesars' palace came 
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly 
Of distant sentinels the fitful song 
Begun and died upon the gentle wind. 
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breacn 
Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they stood - 
Within a bowshot — where the Caesars dwelt, 
And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst 
A grove which springs through levell'd battlement^ 
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths, 
Tvy usurps the laurel's place of growth ; — 
But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands, 
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection ! 
While Caesar's chambers, and the Augustan hallE> 
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay. — 
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon 
All this, and cast a wide and tender light, 
Which soften'd down the hoar austerity 
Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up, 
As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries ; 
Leaving that beautiful which still was so, 
And making that which was not, till the plaoe 
_ 2 D 2 



■&* 



4©4 BYRON'S POE J IS. 

Became religion, ana the heart ran o'er 
With silent worship of the great of old ! — 
1 The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule 
Our spirits from their urns. — 

'Twas such a night I 
'Tis strange that I recall it at this time ; 
But I have found our thoughts take wildest flight 
Even at the moment when they should array 
Themselves in pensive order. 

Enter the Abbot. 

A bbot. My good lord, 

I crave a second grace for this approach ; 
But yet let not my humble zeal ofiend 
By its abruptness — all it hath of ill 
Recoils on me ; its good in the effect 
May light upon your head — could I say heaH — 
Could 1 touch that, with words or prayers, I should 
Becall a noble spirit which hath wander' d, 
But is not yet all lost. 

Man. Thou know'st me not ! 

My days are number'd, and my deeds recorded : 
Retire, or 'twill be dangerous— Away ! 

A bbot. Thou dost not mean to menace me ? 

Man. Not I ; 

I simply tell thee peril is at hand, 
And would preserve thee. 

Abbot. What dost mean ? 

Man. Look there ! 

What dost thou see ? 

Abbot. Nothing. 

Man. Look there, I say, 

And steadfastly ; — now tell me what thou seest. 

Abbot. That which should shake me, — but I Sear it not — 
I see a dusk and awful figure rise, 
Like an infernal god, from out the earth ; 
His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form 
Robed as with angry clouds ; he stands between 
Thyself and me — but I do fear him not. 

Man. Thou hast no cause — he shall not harm thee — but 
His sight may shock thine old limbs into palsy. 
1 say to thee — Retire ! 

Abbot. And I reply — 

Never — till I have battled with this fiend : — 
What doth he here ?— 

Man. Why — ay — what doth he here f — 

I did not send for him, — he is unbidden. 

Abbot. Alas ! lost mortal ! what with guesis like thecc 
Hast thou to do ? I tremble, for thy jake : 
Why doth he gaze on thee, and thou on him ? 
Ah ! he unveils his aspect : on his brow 
The thunder-scars are graven ; from his eye 
Glares forth the immortality of hell— 
A vaunt ! — 



1 
4 



-e 



MANFRED. 405 

Man. Pronounce — what is thy mission T 

Spirit. Come ! 

Abbot. What art thou, unknown being? answer ! — speak I 

Spirit. The genius of this mortal. — Come ! 'tis time. 

Man. I am prepared for all things, but deny 
The power which summons me. Who sent thee here ? 

Spirit. Thou'lt know anon — come ! come ! 

Man. I have commanded 

Things of an essence greater far than thine, 
And striven with thy masters. Get thee hence ! 

Spirit. Mortal ! thine hour is come — Away ! I say. 

Man. I knew, and know my hour is come, but not 
To render up my soul to such as thee : 
Away ! I'll die as I have lived — alone. 

Spirit. Then I must summon up my brethren — Rise ! 

[Other Spirits rise up. 

A bbot. A vaunt ; ye evil ones ! — A vaunt ! I say, — 
Ye have no power where piety hath power, 
And I do charge thee in the name 

Spirit. Old man ! 

We know ourselves, our mission, and thine order ; 
Waste not thy holy words on idle uses, 
It were in vain : this man is forfeited. 
Once more I summon him — Away ! away f 

Man. I do defy ye, — though I feel my soul 
Is ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye ; 
Nor will I hence, while I have earthly breath 
To breathe my scorn upon ye — earthly strength 
To wrestle, though with spirits ; what ye take 
Shall be ta'en limb by limb. 

Spirit. Reluctant mortal ! 

Is this the magian who would so pervade 
The world invisible, and make himself 
Almost our equal ? — Can it be that thou 
Art thus in love with life ? the very life 
Which made thee wretched ! 

Man. Thou false fiend, thou liest 1 

My life is in its last hour ; — that I know, 
Nor would redeem a moment of that hour ; 
. I do not combat against death, but thee 
And thy surrounding angels ; my past power 
Was purchased by no compact with thy crew, 
But by superior science — penance — daring — 
And length of watching — strength of mind — and skill 
In knowledge of our fathers — when the earth 
Saw men and spirits walking side by side, 
And gave ye no supremacy : I stand 
Upon my strength — I do defy — deny — 
Spurn back, and scorn ye ! — 

Spirit. But thy many crimes 

Have made thee 

/ Man. What are they to such as thee ? 

Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, 
And greater criminals ? — Back to thy hell 1 



-** M* 



<& 4 

406 BYXON'S POEMS. 

Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel ; 

Thou never shalt possess me, that I know : 

What I have done is done ; I bear within 

A torture which could nothing gain from thine • 

The mind which is immortal makes itself 

Requital for its good or evil thoughts — 

Is its own origin of ill and end — 

And its own place and time — its innate sense, 

When stripp'd of this mortality, derives 

No colour from the fleeting things without ; 

But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy, 

Born from the knowledge of its own desert. 

Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt me ; 

I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey — 

But was my own destroyer, and will be 

My own hereafter. — Back, ye baffled fiends ! 

The hand of death is on me — but not yours ! 

[The Demons disappear . 

Abbot. Alas ! how pale th.ou art — thy lips are white ; 
And thy breast heaves — and in thy gasping throat 
The accents rattle — Give thy prayers to Heaven — 
Pray — albeit but in thought, — but die not thus. 

Man. 'Tis over — my dull eyes can fix thee not ; 
But all things swim around me, and the earth 
Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee well- 
Give me thy hand. 

Abbot. Cold — cold — even to the heart — 

But yet one prayer — Alas ! how fares it with thee ? 

Man. Old man I 'tis not so difficult to die. 

[Manfred expiree. 

Abbot. He's gone — his soul hath ta'en his earthlees flight — 
Whither ? I dread to think — but he is gone, 



BRIGHT BE THE PLACE OF THY SOUL. 

Bright be the place of thy soul ! 

No lovelier spirit than thine 
E'er burst from its mortal control, 

In the orbs of the blessed to shine. 

On earth thou wert all but divine, 

As thy soul shall immortally be ; 
And our sorrow may cease to repine, 

When we know that thy God is with thee. 

Light be the turf of thy tomb ! 

May its verdure like emeralds be : 
There should not be the shadow of gloom 

In aught that reminds us of thee. 

-^ 



h- *4$< 

STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 407 

Yovng flowers and an evergreen tree 

May spring from the spot of thy rest : 
But nor cypress nor yew let us see ; 

For why should we mourn for the bleat ? 

ifiett 



STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 

They say that hope is happiness; 

Bu'» genuine love must prize the past, 

A nd Memory wakes the thoughts that blase ; 

Thoy rose the first — they set Che last. 

A nd all that Memory loves the mosC 
Was once our only Hope to be, 
And all that hope adored and lost 
Hath melted into Memory. 

Alas ! it is delusion all ; 
The future cheats u« from afar, 
$ or can we be what we recall, 
War dcxe we think ou what we are. 



4 



<> 



4 



THE LAMENT OF TASSO. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

At Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the original MSS. of Tasso'e 
" Gierusalemme," and of Guarini's " Pastor Fido," with letters of Tasso, 
one from Titian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and 
house, of the latter. But, as misfortune has a greater interest for poste- 
rity, and little or none for the cotemporary, the cell where Tasso was 
confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed attention than 
the residence or monument of Ariosto — at least it had this effect on me. 
There are two inscriptions, one on the outer gate, the second over the 
cell itself, inviting, unnecessarily, the wonder and the indignation of the 
spectator. Ferrara is much decayed and depopulated: the castle still 
exists entire ; and I saw the court where Parisina and Hugo were 
beheaded, according to the annal of Gibbon. 



L. 

Long years ! — It tries the thrilling frame to bear 
And eagle-spirit of a child of Song — 

- Long years of outrage, calumny, and wrong ; 
Imputed madness, prison'd solitude, 
And the mind's canker in its savage mood, 
When the impatient thirst of light and air 
Parches the heart ; and the abhorred grate, 
Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade. 
Works through the throbbing eyeball to the uraia, 
With a hat sense of heaviness and pain ; 
And bare, at once, Captivity display'd 

" Stands scoffing through the never-open'd gate, 
Which nothing through its bars admits, save diy, 
And tasteless food, which 1 have eat alone 
Till its unsocial bitterness is gone : 
And I can banquet like a beast of prey, 

« Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave 
Which is my lair, and — it may be — my grave. 
All this hath somewhat worn me, and may u ctsc- 
But must be borne. I stoop not to despair ; 
For I have battled with mine agony, 
And made me wings wherewith to overfly 
The narrow circus of my dungeon wall, 
And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall ; 
And revell'd among men and things divine,, 
And pour'd my spirit over Palestine, 
In honour of the sacred war for Him, 
The God who was on earth and is i!a henvej, 



4 



— <y 



THE LAMENT OF TASSO. 409 

Por Eg has strengthen' d me in heart and limb. 
That through this sufferance I might be forgiveu, 
I have employ'd my penance to record 
How Salem's shrine was won and how adored. 

n. 

But this is o'er — my pleasant task is done :— 

My long-sustaining friend of many years ! 

If I do blot thy final page with tears, 

"Know, that my sorrows have wrung from me none 

But thou, my young creation ! my soul's child ! 

Which ever playing round me came and smiled, 

And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight, 

Thou too art gone — and so is my delight : 

And therefore do I weep and inly bleed 

With this last bruise upon a broken reed. 

Thou too art ended — what is left me now? 

For I have anguish yet to bear — and how f 

I know not that — but in the innate force 

Of my own spirit shall be found resource. 

1 have not sunk, for I had no remorse, 

Nor cause for such : they call'd me mad — and ui»y ? 

Oh Leonora ! wilt not thou reply ? 

I was indeed delirious in my heart 

To lift my love so lofty as thou art ; 

But still my frenzy was not of the mind ; 

I knew my fault, and feel my punishment 

Not less because I suffer it unbent. 

That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind, 

Hath been the sin which shuts me from mankind 5 

But let them go, or torture as they will, 

My heart can multiply thine image still ; 

Successful love may sate itself away, 

The wretched are the faithful ; 'tis their fate 

To have all feeling save the one decay, 

And every passion into one dilate, 

As rapid rivers into ocean pour ; 

But ours is fathomless, and hath no shore. 

in, 

Above me, hark ! the long and maniac cry 

Of minds and bodies in captivity ; 

And hark ! the lash and the increasing howl, 

And the half-inarticulate blasphemy ! 

There be some here with worse than frenzy foul, 

Some who do still goad on the o'er-labour'd mind, 

And dim the little light that's left behind 

With needless torture, as their tyrant will 

Is wound up to the lust of doing ill : 

With these and with their victims am I class'd, 

'Mid sounds and sights like these long years have pme'ds 

'Mid sounds and sights like these my life may close ; 

80 let it be — for then I shall repose. 




4* 



-4; 



410 BYRON'S POEMS. 

rv. 

1 have been patient, let me be so yet ; 

I had forgotten half I would forget ; 

But it revives — Oh ! would it were my lot 

To be forgetful as I am forgot ! — 

Feel I not wroth with those who bade me dwell 

In this vast lazar-house of many woes ? 

Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought the mind, 

Nor words a language, nor eVn men mankind ; 

Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to blows, 

And each is tortured in his separate hell — 

For we are crowded in our solitudes — 

Many, but each divided by the wall, 

Which echoes Madness in her babbling moods ; — 

While all can hear, none heed his neighbour's call— • 

None ! save that One, the veriest wretch of all, 

Who was not made to be the mate of these, 

Nor bound between Distraction and Disease. 

Feel I not wroth with those who placed me here? 

Who have debased me in the minds of men, 

Debarring me the usage of my own, 

Blighting my life in best of its career, 

Branding my thoughts as things to shun and fear' 

Would I not pay them back these pangs again, 

And teach them inward Sorrow's stifled groan ? 

The struggle to be calm, and cold distress, 

Which undermines our Stoical success? 

No ! — still too proud to be vindictive — I 

Have pardon'd princes' insults, and would die. 

Yes, Sister of my Sovereign ' for thy sake 

I weed all bitterness from out my breast, 

It hath no business where thou art a guest ; 

Thy brother hates — but I can not detest ; 

Thou pitiest not — but I can not forsake. 

V. 
Look on a love which knows not to despair, 
But all unquench'd is still my better part, 
Dwelling deep in my shut and silent heart. 
As dwells the gather'd lightning in its cloud, 
Encompass'd with its dark and rolling shroud. 
Till struck, — forth flies the all ethereal dart ! 
And thus at the collision of thy name 
The vivid thought still flashes through my frame, 
And for a moment all things as they were 
Flit by me ; — they are gone — I am the same 
And yet my love without ambition grew ; 
1 knew thy state, my station, and I knew 
A Princess was no love-mate for a bard ; 
I told it not, I breathed it not, it was 
Sufficient to itself, its own reward ; 
And if my eyes reveal'd it, they, alas ! 
Were punish'd by the silentness of thine^ 
And yet I did not venture to repine. 



i> 



*e 



*4>* 



THE LAMENT OF TASSO. 411 

Thou wert to me a crystal-girded shrine 
Worshipp'd at holy distance and around 
Hallow'd and meekly kiss'd the saintly ground ; 
Not for thou wert a princess, but that Love 
Had robed thee with a glory, and array'd 
Thy lineaments in a beauty that dismay 'd — 
Oh ! not dismay'd — but awed, like One above ! 
And in that sweet severity there was 
A something which all softness did surpass — 
I know not how — thy genius master'd mine — 
My star stood still before thee : — if it were 
Presumptuous thus to love without design, 
That sad fatality hath cost me dear ; 
But thou art dearest still, and I should be 
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me — but for thee. 
The very love which lock'd me to my chain 
Hath lighten'd half its weight ; and for the rest, 
Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain, 
And look to thee with undivided breast, 
And foil the ingenuity of Pain. 

VI. 

It is no marvel — from my very birth 

My soul was drunk with love, — which did pervade 

And mingle with whate'er I saw on earth ; 

Of objects all inanimate I made 

Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers, 

And rocks, whereby they grew, a paradise, 

Where I did lay me down within the shade 

Of waving trees, and dream'd uncounted hours, 

Though I was chid for wandering ; and the Wiae 

Shook their white aged heads o'er me, and said 

Of such materials wretched men were made, 

And such a truant boy would end in woe, 

And that the only lesson was a blow ; 

And then they smote me, and I did not weep, 

But cursed them in my heart, and to my haunt 

Return'd and wept alone, and dream'd again 

The visions which arise without a sleep. 

And with my years my soul began to pant 

With feelings of strange tumult and soft pain ; 

And the whole heart exhaled into One Want, 

But undefined and wandering, till the day 

I found the thing I sought — and that was thep ; 

And then I lost my being all to be 

Absorb' d in thine — the world was past away — 

Thou didst annihilate the earth to me ! 

vn. 

■ I loved all Solitude, but little thought 
To spend I know not what of life, remote 
From all communion with existence, save 
The maniac and his tyrant ; — had I been 
Their fellow, many years ere this had seeBi 



■4 



412 BYRON'S POEMS, 

My mind like theirs oorrupted to its grave, 
But who hath seen me writhe, or heard me rav* 1 
Perchance in such a cell we suffer more 
Than the wreck' d sailor on his desert shore : 
The world is all before him — mine is here, 
Scarce twice the space they must accord my bisr. 
What though he perish, he may lift his eye 
And with a dying glance upbraid the sky — 
I will not raise my own in such reproof, 

- Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon root 

YHI. 

- tfet do 1 feei at times my mind decline, 
But with a sense of its decay : — I see 

— Unwonted lights along my prison shine, 
And a strange demon, who is vexing me 
With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below 
The feeling of the healthful and the free ; 
But much to One, who long hath suffer'd so, 
Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place, 
And all that may be borne, or can debase. 
I thought mine enemies had been but Man, 
But spirits may be leagued with them — all Eartli 
Abandons — Heaven forgets me ; — in the dearth 
Of such defence the Powers of Evil can, 
It may be, tempt me further, — and prevail 
Against the outworn creature they assail. 
Why in this furnace is my spirit proved 
Like steel in tempering fire ! — because I loved ? 
Because I loved what not to love, and see, 
Was more or less than mortal, and than me. 

IX. 

I ouoe was quick in feeling — that is o'er ; — 

My scars are callous, or I should have dash'd 

My brain against these bars, as the sun flash 'd 

In mockery through them ; — If I bear and bort 

The much I have recounted, and the more 

Which hath no words, — 'tis that I would not die 

And sanction with self-slaughter the dull he 

Which snared me here, and with the brand of Bhang 

StaraD Madness deep into my memory, 

And woo Compassion to a blighted name, 

Sealing the sentence which my foe* proclaim. 

Ho — it shall be immortal ! — and I make 

A future temple of my present cell, 

Which nations yet shall visit for ny sake. 

While thou, Ferrara ! when no longer dwell 

The ducal chiefs within thee, shall fall down, 

A nd crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthless halls, 

A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown, 

A poet's dungeon thy most far renown, 

While strangers wander o'er thy unpeopled walls t 

And thou, Leonora 1 — thou — who wert ashamed 



•M-44+ 



<y 



<> 



THE LAMENT OF 2ASS0. 413 

That such as i could love — who blush'd to hear 

To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear, 

Go ! tell thy brother, that my heart, untamed 

By grief, years, weariness — and it may be 

A taint of that he would impute to me — 

From long infection of a den like this, 

Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss, 

Adores thee still ; — and add — that when the towers 

And battlements which guard his joyous hours 

Of banquet, dance, and revel are forgot, 

Or left untended in a dull repose, 

This — this — shall be a consecrated spot ! 

But thou — when all that Birth and Beauty throws 

Of magic round thee is extinct — shalt have 

One half the laurel which o'ershades my gravo. 

No power in death can tear our names apart, 

As none in life could rend thee from my betm. 

Yes, Leonora I it shall be our fate 

To be entwined for ever — but too late ! 



*& 



■4 



CAIN: 

A MTSTEET. 



** Vox thi Serpent v« more subtil than any beast of the field whlft. U.» LOM> God 
liod tm*d» "—#»». oh. Hi. ver. 1 



TO 

Sin WALTER SCOTT, Babt., 

THIS MYSTERY OF CAIN IS INSCRIBED, 

BY HIS OBLIGED FRIEND AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 

The following scenes are entitled "A Mystery," in conformity with the 
ancient title annexed to dramas upon similar subjects, which were 
styled " Mysteries, or Moralities." The author has by no means taken 
the same liberties with his subject which were common formerly, as may 
be seen by any reader curious enough to refer to those very profane pro- 
ductions, whether in English, French, Italian, or Spanish. The author 
has endeavoured to preserve the language adapted to his characters ; and 
where it is (and this is but rarely) taken from actual Scripture, he has 
made as little alteration, even of words, as the rhythm would permit. 
The reader will recollect that the booR of Genesis does not state that Eve 
was tempted by a demon, but by "the Serpent;" and that only because 
he was " the most subtil of all the beasts of the field." Whatever 
interpretation the Rabbins and the Fathers may have put upon this, I 
take the words as 1 find them, and reply, with Bishop Watson upon 
ftimilar occasions, when the Fathers were quoted to him, as Moderator in 
the schools of Cambridge, " Behold the Book !" — holding up the Scripture. 
It is to be recollected that my present subject has nothing to do with the 
New Testtirrent, to which no reference can be here made without 
anachronism. With the poems upon similar topics I have not been 
recently familiar. Since I was twenty, I have never read Milton ; but I 
had read him 90 frequently before, that this may make little difference. 
Gesner's " Death of Abel " I have never read since I was eight years of 
age at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; 
but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, 
and Abel's Thirza : in the following pages I have called them " Adah " 
and " Zillah," the earliest female names which occur in Genesis ; they 
were those of Lamech's wives : those of Cain and Abel are not called by 
their names. Whether, then, a coincidence of subject may have caused 
the same in expression, I know nothing, and care as little. 

The reader will please to bear in mind (what few choose to recollect), 



♦-H-4+- 



CAIN. 



415 



tti&t there la no allusion to a future state In any of the books of Moses, 
nor indeed in the Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary 
omission, he may consult Warburton's "Divine Legation;" whether 
satisfactory or not, no better has yet been assigned. I have, therefore, 
supposed it new to Cain, without, I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ. 

With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was difficult for me to make 
him talk like a clergyman upon the same subjects ; but I have done what 
I could to restrain him within the bounds of spiritual politeness. 

If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of the Serpent, it is 
only because the book of Genesis has not the most distant allusion to 
anything of the kind, but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine 
capacity. 

Note. — The reader will perceive that the author has partly adopted in 
this poem the notion of Cuvier, that the world had been destroyed several 
times before the creation of man. This speculation, derived from the 
different strata and the bones of enormous and unknown animals found 
in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic account, but rather confirms it ; 
as no human bones have yet been discovered in those strata, although 
those of many known animals are found near the remains of the 
unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the pre- Adamite world was also 
peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and pro- 
portionably powerful to the mammoth, &c. &c, is, of course, a poetical 
fiction to help him to make out his case. 

I ought to add, that there is a " tramelogedia" of Alfieri, called " Abele." 
<—\ have never read that, nor any other of the posthumous works of the 
writer except his Life. 



CAIN: 

A MYSTERY. 

IBramattg person®. 



MEN. 
Adam. 
Cain. 

AUSL. 


SPIRITS. 
Angel op tub Lord. 
Lucifer. 


WOMEN. 
Evb. 
Adah. 

ZlLLAH. 



ACT I.— SCENE I. 

The Land without Paradise. — Time, Sunrise. 

Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Adah, Zillah, 
offering a Sacrifice. 

A dam. God, the Eternal ! Infinite ! Allwise !— 
Who out of darkness on the deep didst make 
Light on the waters with a word — all hail I 
Jehovah, with returning light, all hail ! 

Eve. God ! who didst name the day, and separate 
Morning from night, till then divided never — 
Who didst divide the wave from wave, and call 
Part of Thy work the firmament — all hail 1 



4- 



& A 

416 B Y RON'S POEMS. 

A bel. God ! who mdst call the elements into 
Earth — ocean — air — and fire, and with the day 
And night, and worlds, which these illuminate, 
Or shadow, madest beings to enjoy them, 
And love both them and Thee ! — all hail ! all hail ! 

A dah. God, the Eternal ! Parent of all things ! 
Who didst create these best and beauteous beings. 
To be beloved, more than all, save Thee — 
ijet me love Thee and them : — All hail ! all hail ! 

Zillah. Oh, God ! who loving, making, blessing aL, 
Yet didst permit the Serpent to creep in, 
And drive my father forth from Paradise, 
Keep us from further evil : — Hail ! all hail ! 

Adam. Son Cain, my first-born, wherefore art thou silent ! 

Cain. Why should I speak ? 

Adam. To pray. 

Cain. Have ye not pray'd ? 

Adam. We hava, most fervently. 

Cain. And loudly : 1 

Have heard you. 

A dam. So will God, I trust. 

Abel. Amen ! 

Adam. But thou, my eldest born, art silent still. 

Cain. 'Tis better I should be so. 

Adam. Wherefore so? 

Cain. I have nought to ask. 

Adam. Nor aught to thank for? 

Cain. No. 

A dam. Dost thou not live ? 

Cain. Must I not die ? 

Eve. Alae 1 

The fruit of our forbidden tree begins 
To fall. 

Adam. Ana we must gather it again. 
Oh, God ! why didst Thou plant the tree of knowledge 7 

Cain. And wherefore pluck'd ye not the tree of life \ 
Ye might have then defied Him. 

Adam. Oh ! my son, 

Blaspheme not : these are serpents' words. 

Cain. Why not ? 

The snake spoke truth ; it was the tree of knowledge ; 
It was the tree of life : knowledge is good, 
And life is good ; and how can both be evil ? 

Eve. My boy ! thou speakest as I spoke, in sin, 
Before thy birth : let me not see renew'd 
My misery in thine. I have repented. 
Let me not see my offspring fall into 
The snares beyond the walls of Paradise, 
Which e'en in Paradise destroy' d his parents. 
Content thee with what is. Had we been so, 
Thou now hadst been contented. — Oh, my son ! 

Adam. Our orisons completed, let us hence, 
Each to his task of toil — not heavy, though 
Needful : the earth is young, and yields us -Viilllly 
Her fruits with little labour. 






• CAIN. 417 

Svt. Cain, my son, 

Behold thy father cheerful and resign'd, 
And do as he doth. 

[Exeunt Adam and Eva. 

Zillah. Wilt thou not, my brother ? 

Abel. Why wilt thou wear this gloom upon thy brow, 
Which can avail thee nothing, save to rouse 
The Eternal anger ? 

A dah. My beloved Cain, 

Wilt thou frown even on me ? 

Cain. No, Adah I no ; 

I fain would be alone a little while. 
Abel, I'm sick at heart ; but it will pass. 
Precede me, brother — I will follow shortly. 
And yoa, too, sisters, tarry not behind ; 
Your gentleness must not be harshly met : 
I'll follow you anon. 

Adah. If not, I will 

Return to seek you here. 

Abel. The peace of God 

Be on your spirit, brother ! 

[Exeunt Abel, Zillah, and Adah. 

Cain (solus). And this is 

Life ! — Toil ! and wherefore should I toil ? — because 
My father could not keep his place in Eden. 
What had / done in this ? — I was unborn : 
I sought not to be born ; nor love the state 
To which that birth has brought me. Why did he 
Yield to the serpent and the woman ? or, 
Yielding, why suffer ? What was there in this ? 
The tree was planted, and why not for him ? 
If not, why place him near it, where it grew, 
The fairest in the centre ? They have but 
One answer to all questions, " 'Twas His will, 
And He is good." How know I that ? Because 
He is all-powerful, must all-good, too, follow ? 
I judge but by the fruits — and they are bitter— 
Which I must feed on for a fault not mine. 
Whom have we here ? — A shape like to the angels, 
Yet of a sterner and a sadder aspect 
Of spiritual essence : why do I quake? 
Why should I fear him more than other spirits, 
Whom I see daily wave their fiery swords 
Before the gates round which I linger oft, 
In twilight's hour, to catch a glimpse of those 
Gardens which are my just inheritance, 
Ere the night closes o'er the inhibited walls 
And the immortal trees which overtop 
The cherubim-defended battloments J 
If I shrink not from these, the fire-arm'd angels, 
Why should I quail from him who now approaches ? 
Yet he seems mightier far than them, nor less 
Beauteous, and yet not all as beautiful 
As he hath been, and might be : sorrow seems 

2 E 



v* 

4 i3 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Half of his immortality. And is it 

So ? and can aught grieve save humanity ? 

Be cometh. 

EtUer Luclfek. 

Lucifer. Mortal ! 

Cain. Spirit, who art thou ? 

Lucifer. Master of spirits. 

Cain. And being so, canst thou 

Leave them, and walk with dust ? 

Lucifer. I know the thoughts 

Of dust, and feel for it, find with you. 

Cain. How 1 

You know my thoughts ? 

Lucifer. They are thoughts of all 

Worthy of thought ; — 'tis your immortal part 
Which speaks within you. 

Cain. What immortal part ? 

This has not been reveal'd : the tree of life 
Was withheld from us by my father's folly, 
While that of knowledge, by my mother's haste, 
Was pluck'd too soon ; and all the fruit is death ! 

Lucifer. They have deceived thee ; thou shalt live. 

Cain. 1 kvfc 

But li\ e to die : and, living, see nothing 
To make death hateful, save an innate clinging, 
A loathsome, and yet all invincible 
Instinct of life, which I abhor, as I 
Despise myself, yet cannot overcome — 
And so I live. Would I had never lived ! 

Lucifer. Thou livest, and must live for ever ; think not 
The earth, which is thine outward covering, is 
Existence — it will cease, and thou wilt be 
No less than thou art now. 

Cain. No leu / and why 

No more ? 
" — Lucifer. It mav be thou shalt be as we. 

Cain. And ye f 

Lucifer. Are everlasting. 

Cain. Are ye happy ? 

Lucifer. We are mighty. 

Cain. Are ye happy T 

Lucifer. No : art thou f 

Cain. How should I be so ? Look on me ! 

Lucifer. Poor clay 

And thou pretendest to be wretched ! Thou ! 

Cain. I am : — and thou, with all thy might, what art, thca I 

Lucifer. One who aspired to be what made thee, and 
Would not have made thee what thou art. 

Cain. Ah ! 

Thou look'st almost a god ; and 

Lucifer. I am none : 

And having fail'd to be one, wonld be nought 
Save what I am. He concmer'd ; let Him reign ! 



<* 



CAIN. 4' 9 

Cain. Who? 

Lvucijer. Tby sire's Maker, and the earth's. 

Cain. And heaven's, 

And all that in them is. So I have heard 
His seraphs sing ; and so my father eaith. 

Lucifer. They say — what they must sing and say, on pair 
Of being that which I am — and thou art — 
Of spirits and of men. 

Cain. And what is that ? 

Lucifer. Souls who dare use their immortality — 
Souls who dare look the Omnipotent tyrant in 
His everlasting face, and tell Him, that 
His evil is not good ! If He has made, 
As He saith — which I know not, nor believe- 
But, if He made us — He cannot unmake : 
We are immortal ! — nay, He'd have us so, 
That He may torture : — let Him ! He is great — 
But, in His greatness, is no happier than 
We in our conflict ! Goodness would not make 
Evil ; and what else hath He made ? But let Him 
Sit on His vast and solitary throne, 
Creating worlds, to make eternity 
Less burthensome to His immense existence 
And unparticipated solitude ! 
Let Him crowd orb on orb : He is alone 
Indefinite, indissoluble tyrant ! 
Could He but crush Himself, 'twere the best boon 
He ever granted : but, let Him reign on, 
And multiply Himself in misery ! 
Spirits and men, at least we sympathize — 
And, suffering in concert, make our pangs, 
Innumerable, more endurable, 
By the unbounded sympathy of all — 
With all ! But He 1 so wretched in His height, 
So restless in His wretchedness, must still 
Create, and re-create 

Cain. Thou speak'st to me of things which long have swum 
In visions through my thought : I never could 
Reconcile what I saw with what I heard. 
My father and my mother talk to me 
Of serpents, and of fruits and trees : I see 
The gates of what they call their Paradise 
Guarded by fiery-sworded cherubim, 
Which shut them out, and me : I feel the weight 
Of daily toil and constant thought : I look 
Around a world where I seem nothing, with 
Thoughts which arise within me, as if they 
Could master all things : — but I thought alon«! 
This misery was mine. — My father is 
Tamed down : my mother has forgot the mind 
Which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk 
Of an eternal curse : my brother is 
A watching shepherd boy, who offers up 
The firstlings of the flock to Him who bids 

2 E % 






420 BYRON'S POEMS. 

The earth yield nothing to us without sweat ; 
My sister Zillah sings an earlier hymn 
Than the birds' matins ; and my Adah, my 
Own and beloved, she, too, understands not 
The mind which overwhelms me : never till 
Now met I aught to sympathize with me. 
Tis well — I rather would consort with spirits. 

Lucifer. And hadst thou not been fit by thine ovn soul 
For such companionship, I would not now 
Have stood before thee as I am : a serpent 
Had been enough to charm ye, as before. 

Cain. Ah ! didst thou tempt my mother ? 

Lucifer. I tempt none, 
Save with the truth ; was not the tree, the tree 
Of knowledge ? and was not the tree of life 
Still fruitful / Did I bid her pluck them not ? 
Did / plant things prohibited within 
The reach of beings innocent, and curious 
By their own innocence ? I would have made ye 
Gods ; and even He who thrust ye forth, so thrust ye' 
Because " ye should not eat the fruits of life, 
And become gods as we." Were those His words? 

Cain. They were, as I have heard from those who heard 
them, 
In thunder. 

Lucifer. Then who was the demon ? He 

Who would not let ye live, or he who would 
Have made ye live for ever in the joy 
And power of knowledge '( 

Cain. Would they had snatch'd both 

The fruits, or neither ! 

Lucifer. One is yours already ; 

The other may be still. 

Cain. How so ? 

Lucifer. - By being 

Yourselves, in your resistance. Nothing can 
Quench the mind, if the mind will be itself 
And centre of surrounding things — 'tis made 
To sway. 

Cain. But didst thou tempt my pai ents ? 

Lucifer. I ? 

Poor clay ! what should I tempt them for, or how ? 

Cain. They say the serpent was a spirit. 

Lucifer. Who 

Saith that ? It is not written so on high : 
The proud One will not so far falsify, 
Though man's vast fears and little vanity 
Woald make him cast upon the spiritual nature 
His own low failing. The snake was the snake- 
No more : and yet not less than those he tempted, 
In nature being earth also — more in wisdom, 
Since he could overcome them, and foreknew 
The knowledge fatal to their narrow joys. 
Think'st t.hou I'd take the shaue of things f „hat die ? 



< 



<b* 



CAIN. 421 

Cain. But the thing had a demon ? 

Lucifer. He but woke one 
In those he spake to with his forky tongue. 
I tell thee that the serpent was no more 
Than a mere serpent: ask the cherubim 
Who guard the tempting tree. When thousand ages 
Have roll'd o'er your dead ashes, and your seed's. 
The seed of the then world may thus array 
Their earliest fault in fable, and attribute 
To nie a shape I scorn, as I scorn all 
That bows to Him, who made things but to bond 
Before His sullen, sole eternity ; 
But we, who see the truth, must speak it. Thy 
Fond parents listen'd to a creeping thing, 
And fell. For what should spirits tempt them ? What 
Was there to envy in the narrow bounds 
Of Paradise, that spirits who pervade 

Space but I speak to thee of what thou know'st not, 

•Vith all thy tree of knowledge. 

Cain. But thou canst not 

Speak aught of knowledge which I would not know, 
And do not thirst to know, and bear a mind 
To know. 

Lucifer. And heart to look on ? 

Cain. Be it proved. 

Lucifer. Darest thou to look on Death ? 

Cain. He has not yet 

Been seen. 

Lucifer. But must be undergone. 

Cain. My father 

Says he is something dreadful, and my mother 
Weeps when he is named ; and Abel lifts his eyes 
To heaven, and Zillah casts hers to the earth, 
And sighs a prayer ; and Adah looks on me, 
And speaks not. 

Lucifer. And thou ? 

Cain. Thoughts unspeakable 

Crowd in my breast to burning, when I hear 
Of this almighty Death, who is, it seems, 
Inevitable. Could I wrestle with him ? 
I wrestled with the lion, when a boy, 
In play, till he ran roaring from my gripe. 

Lucifer. It has no shape ; but will absorb all things 
That bear the form of earth-born being. 

Cain. Ah I 

I thought it was a being : who could do 
Such evil things to beings save a being ? 

Lucifer. Ask the Destroyer. 

Cain. Who? 

Lucifer. The Maker — oaJl Him 

Which name thou wilt : He makes but to destroy. 

Cain. I knew not that, yet thought it, since I heard 
Of death : although I know not what it is, 
Yet it seems horrible. I have look'd out 



-^:> 






422 BORON'S POEMS. 

In the vast desolate night in search of him ; 

And when I saw gigantic shadows in 

The umbrage of the walls of Eden, chequer' d 

By the far- flashing of the cherubs' swords, 

I watch'd for what I thought his coming ; for 

With fear rose longing in my heart to know 

What 'twas which shook us all — but nothing came. 

And then I turn'd my weary eyes from off 

Our native and forbidden Paradise, 

Up to the lights above us, in the azure, 

Which are so beautiful : shall they, too, die? 

Lucifer. Perhaps — but long outlive both thine and thct. 

Cain. I'm glad of that : I would not have them die — 
They are so lovely. What is death ? I fear, 
I feel, it is a dreadful thing ; but what, 
I cannot compass : 'tis denounced against us, 
Both them who sinn'd and sinn'd not, as an ill — 
What ill ? 

Lueifer. To be resolved into the earth. 

Cain. But shall I know it ? 

Lucifer. As I know not death, 

I cannot answer. 

Cain. Were I quiet earth, 

That were no evil : would I ne'er had been 
Aught else but dust ! 

Lucifer. That is a grovelling wish, 

Less than thy father's ; for he wish'd to know. 

Cain. But not to live, or wherefore pluck'd he not 
The life tree ? 

Lucifer. He was hinder'd. 

Cain. Deadly error ! 

Not to snatch first that fruit : — but ere he pluck'd 
The knowledge, he was ignorant of death. 
Alas ! I scarcely now know what it is, 
And yet I fear it — fear I know not what ! 

Lucifer. And I, who know all things, fear nothing : see 
What is true knowledge. 

Cain. Wilt thou teach me all ? 

Lucifer. Ay, upon one condition. 

Cain. Name it. 

Lucifer. That 

Thou dost fall down and worship me — thy Lord. 

Cain. Thou art not the Lord my father worships. 

Lucifer. No ( 

Cain. His equal? 

Lucifer. No : — I have nought in common with Him ! 
Nor would : I would be aught above — beneath — 
Aught save a sharer or a servant of 
His power. I dwell apart ; but I am great :— 
Many there are who worship me, and more 
W ho shall — be thou amongst the first. 

Cain. I neve: 

As yet have bow'd unto my father's God, 
Although my brother Abel oft implores 



i) 






CAIN. 42: 

That I would join with him in sacrifice : — 
Why should I bow to thee ? 

Lucifer. Hast thou ne'er bow'd 

To Him ? 

Cain. Have I not said it ? — need I say it ? 
Could not thy mighty knowledge teach thee that? 

Lucifer. He who bows not to Him has bow'a to me I 

Cain. But I will bend to neither. 

Lucifer. Ne'er the less, 

Thou art my worshipper : not worshipping 
Him makes thee mine the same. 

Cain. And what is that ? 

Lucifer. Thou'lt know here — and hereafter. 

Cain. Let me but 

Be taught the mystery of my being. 

Lucifer. Follow 

Where I will lead thee. 

Cain. But I must retire 
To till the earth — for I had promised 

Lucifer. What ? 

Cain. To cull some first-fruits. 

Lucifer. Why ? 

Cain. To offer up 

With Abel on an altar. 

Lucifer. Saidst thou not 

Thou ne'er hadst bent to Him who made thee ? 

Cain. Yes — 

But Abel's earnest prayer has wrought upon me ; 
The offering is more his than mine — and Adah — 

Lucifer. Why dost thou hesitate ? 

Cain. She is my sister, 

Born on the same day, of the same womb : and 
She wrung from me, with tears, this promise ; 
Rather than see her weep, I would, methinks, 
Bear all — and worship aught. 

Lucifer. Then follow me ! 

Cain. I wilL 

Enter Adah. 

Adah. My brother, I have come for thee ; 
It is our hour of rest and joy — and we 
Have less without thee. Thou hast laboured not 
This morn ; but I have done thy task : the fruits 
Are ripe, and glowing as the light which ripens : 
Come away. 

Cain. Seest thou not ! 

Adah. I see an angei ; 

We have seen many : will he share our hour 
Of rest ? — he is welcome. 

Cain. But he is not like 

The angels we have seen. 

Adah. Are there, then, others f 

But he is welcome, as they were : they deign 'd 
To be our guests — will he ? 




*&■ 






424 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Cain (to Lucifer). Wilt thou ? 

Lucifer. I ask 

Thee to be mine. 

Cain. I must away with him. 

^4 d ah. And leave us ? 

Cain. Ay. 

Adah. And mt? 

Cain. Beloved Adah ! 

A dah. Let mo go with thee. 

Lucifer. No, she must not. 

Adah. Who 

Art thou that steppest between heart and heart ? 

Cain. lie is a god. 

Adah. How know'st thou ? 

Cain. He speaks like 

A god. 

A dah So did the serpent, and it lied. 

Lucijtr. Thou errest, Adah ! — was not the tree that 
Of knowledge ? 

Adah. Ay — to our eternal sorrow. 

Lucifer. And yet that grief is knowledge — so he lied not 
And if he did betray you, 'twas with truth ; 
And truth in its own essence cannot be 
But good. 

A dak. But all we know of it has gather'd 
Evil on ill : expulsion from our home, 
And dread, and toil, and sweat, and heaviness ; 
Remorse of that which was — and hope of that 
Which cometh not. Cain ! walk not with this spirit. 
Bear with what we have borne, and love me — I 
Love thee. 

Lucifer. More than thy mother, and thy sire ! 

A dah. I do. Is that a sin, too ? 

Lucifer. No, not yet : 

It one day will be in your children. 

Adah. What! 

Must not my daughter love her brother Enoch ? 

Lucifer. Not as thou lovest Caiu. 

A dah. Oh, my God f 

Shall they not love and bring forth things that love 
Out of their love ? have they not drawn their milk 
Out of this bosom ? was not he, their father, 
Born of the same sole womb, in the same hour 
With me ? did we not love each other ? and 
In multiplying our being multiply 
Things which will love each other as we love 
^hem ? — And as I love thee, my Cain ! go not 
Forth with this spirit ; he is not of ours. 

Lucifer. The sin I speak of is not of my making. 
And cannot be a sin in you — whate'er 
It seem in those who will replace ye in 
Mortality. 

Adah. What is the sin which is not 

Sin in itself? Can circumstance make siu 



4 



*<!>* 



CA IN. 425 

Ur virtuo * — if it doth, wo are tho slaves 
Of 

Lucifer. Higher things than vo are slaves : and higher 
Than them or ye would be so, did they not 
Prefer an independency of torture 
To the smooth agonies of adulation, 
In hymns and harpings, and self-seeking prayers, 
To that which is omnipotent, because 
It is omnipotent, and not from love, 
But terror and self-hope. 

A dah. Omnipotence 

Must be all goodness. 

Lucifer. Was it so in Eden ? 

Adah. Fiend ! tempt me not with beauty ; thou art fairej 
Than was the serpent, and as false. 

Lucifer. As true. 

Ask Eve, your mother : bears she not the knowledge 
Of good and evil ? 

Adah. Oh, my mother ! thou 

Hast pluck'd a fruit more fatal to thine offspring 
Than to thyself ; thou at the least hast pass' i 
Thy youth in Paradise, in innocent 
And happy intercourse with happy spirits : 
But we, thy children, ignorant of Eden, 
Are girt about by demons, who assume 
The words of God, &nd tempt us with our own 
Dissatisfied and curious thoughts — as thou 
Wert work'd on by the snake, in thy most flush'd 
And heedless, harmless wantonness of bliss. 
I cannot answer this immortal thing 
Which stands before me ; I cannot abhor him ; 
I look upon him with a pleasing fear, 
And yet I fly not from him : in his eye 
There is a fastening attraction which 
Fixes my fluttering eyes on his ; my heart 
Beats quick ; he awes me, and yet draws me near, 
Nearer, and nearer : — Cain — Cain — save me from him ! 

Cain. What dreads my Adah ? This is no ill spirit. 

Adah. He is not God — nor God's : I have beheld 
The cherubs and the seraphs ; he looks not 
Like them. 

Cain. But there are spirits loftier still — 

The archangels. 

Lucifer. Add still loftier than the archangels. 

Adah. Ay — but not blessed. 

Lucifer. If the blessedness 

Consists in slavery — no. 

Adah. I have heard it said, 

The seraphs love most — cherubim know most — 
And this should be a cherub — since he loves not. 

Lucifer. And if the higher knowledge quenches love, 
What must he be you cannot love when known ? 
Since the all-knowing cherubim love least, 
The seraphs' love can be but ignorance : 



-*£ 



426 BYRON'S POEMS. 

That they are not compatible, the doom 
Of thy fond parents, for their daring, proven. 
Choose betwixt love and knowledge — since there is 
No other choice : your sire hath chosen already ; 
His worship is but fear. 

A dah. Oh, Cain ! choose love. 

Cain. For thee, my Adah, I choose not — it was 
Born with me — but I love nought else. 

Adah. Our parents ? 

Cain. Did they love us when they snatch' d from the t^ac 
That which hath driven us all from Paradise ? 

Adah. We were not born then — and if we had boon. 
Should we not love them and our children, Cain ? 

Cain. My little Enoch ! and his lisping sister [ 
Could I but deem them happy, I would half 

Forget but it can never be forgotten 

Through thrice a thousand generations ! never 

Shall men love the remembrance of the man 

Who sow'd the seed of evil and mankind 

In the same hour ! They pluck'd the tree of scienoe 

And sin — and, not content with their own sorrow, 

Begot me — thee — and all the few that are, 

And all the unnumber'd and innumerable 

Multitudes, millions, myriads, which may be, 

To inherit agonies accumulated 

By ages ! — and / must be sire of such things ! 

Thy beauty and thy love — my love and joy, 

The rapturous moment and the placid hour, 

All we love in our children and each other, 

But lead them and ourselves through many years 

Of sin and pain— or few, but still of sorrow, 

Jntercheck'd with an instant of brief pleasure, 

To Death — the unknown ! Methinks the tree of knowledge 

Hath not fulfiU'd its promise : — if they sinn'd, 

At least they ought to have known all things that are 

Of knowledge — and the mystery of death. 

What do they know ? — that they are miserable. 

What need of snakes and fruits to teach us that ? 

Adah. I am not wretched, Cain, and if thou 
Wert happy 

Cain. Be thou happy, then, alone — 

I will have nought to do with happiness, 
Which humbles me and mine. 

Adah. Alone I could not, 

Nor would be happy : but with those around us, 
] think I could be so, despite of death, 
Which, as I know it not, I dread not, thougtt 

I I seems an awful shadow — if I may 
J udge from what 1 have heard. 

Lucifer. And thou couldst not 

Alone, thou say'st, be happy ? 

Adah. Alone ! Oh, my God ) 

Who could be happy and alone, or good ? 
To me my solitude seems sin ; unless 



*■•- 



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♦*. 



CAIN. 427 

When I think how soon I shall see my brother, 
His brother, and our children, and our parents. 

Lucifer. Yet thy God is alone ; and is He happy t 
Lonely, and good ? 

Adah. He is not so ; He hath 

The angels and the mortals to make happy, 
And thus becomes so in diffusing joy ! 
What else can joy be, but the spreading joy ? 

Lucifer. Ask of your sire, the exile fresh from 
Eden; 
Or of his first-born son : ask your own heart ; 
It is not tranquil. 

Adah. Alas ! no ! and you — 

Are you of heaven ? 

Lucifer. If I am not, inquire 

The cause of this all-spreading happiness 

SV~hich you proclaim) of the all-great and good 
aker of life and living things ; it is 
His secret, and He keeps it. We must bear, 
And some of us resist, and both in vain, 
His seraphs say ; but it is worth the trial, 
Since better may not be without : there is 
A wisdom in the spirit, which directs 
To right, as in the dim blue air the eye 
Of you, young mortals, lights at once upon 
The star which watches, welcoming the morn. 

Adah. It is a beautiful star ; I love it for 
Its beauty. 

Lucifer. And why not adore ? 

A dah. Our father 

Adores the Invisible only. 

Lucifer. But the symbols 

Of the Invisible are the loveliest 
Of what is visible ; and yon bright star 
Is leader of the host of heaven. 

Adah. Our father 

Saith that he has beheld the God himself 
Who made him and our mother. 

Lucifer. Hast thou seen Him 7 

Adah. Yes — in His works. 

Lucifer. But in His being ? 

Adah. No — 

Save in my father, who is God's own image ; 
Or in His angels, who are like to thee — 
And brighter, yet less beautiful and powerful 
In seeming : as the silent sunny noon, 
All light they look upon us ; but thou seem'st 
Like an ethereal night, where long white clouds 
Streak the deep purple, and unnumber'd stars 
Spangle the wonderful mysterious vault 
With things that look as if they would be suns j 
80 beautiful, unnumber'd, and endearing, 
Not dazzling, and yet drawing us to them, 
They fill my eyes with tears, and so dost thou. 




&+ 



428 P Y RON'S POEMS. 

Thou seem'st unhappy . do not make us so, 
And I will weep for thee. 

Lucifer. Alas ! those tears ! 
Couldst thou but know what oceans will be shed 

A dah. By ue ? 

Lucifer. By all. 

Adah. What all? 

Lucifer. The million millions — 

The myriad myriads — the all-peopled earth — 
The unpeopled earth — and the o'er-peopled hell. 
Of which thy bosom is the germ. 

A dah. Cain 1 

This spirit curseth us. 

Cain. Let him say on ; 

Him will I follow, 

Adah. Whither? 

Lucifer. To a place 

Whence he shall come back to thee in an hour; 
But in that hour see things of many days. 

Adah. How can that be? 

Lucifer. Did not your Maker make 

Out of old worlds this new one in few days ? 
And ca.r>ot I, who aided in this work, 
Show in an hour what He hath made in many, 
Or hath destroy'd in few ? 

Cain. Lead on. 

Adah. Will he, 

In sooth, return within an hour ? 

Lucifer. He shall. 

With us acts are exempt from time, and we 
Can crowd eternity into an hour, 
Or stretch an hour into eternity: 
We breathe not by a mortal measurement — 
But that's a mystery. Cain, come on with me. 

Adah. Will he return ? 

Lucifer. Ay, woman ! he alone 

Of mortals from that place (the first and last 
Who shall return, save One), — shall come back to thee, 
To make that silent and expectant world 
As populous as this : at present there 
Are few inhabitants. 

A dah. Where dwellest thou ? 

Liucifer. Throughout all space. Where should I dwell I 
Where are 
Thy God or Gods — there am I : all things are 
Divided with me ; life and doath — and time — 
Eternity — and heaven and earth — and that 
Which is not heaven nor earth, but peopled with. 
Those who once peopled or shall people both — 
These are my realms ! So that I do divide 
His, and possess a kingdom which is not 
His. If I were not that which I have said, 
Could I stand here ? His angels are within 
Your vision. 



♦0- 






*&• 



CAIN. 429 

Adah. So they were when the fair serpent 

Spoke with our mother first. 

Lucifer. Cain ! thou hast heard. 

If thou dost long for knowledge, I can satiate 
That thirst ; nor ask thee to partake of fruits 
Which shall deprive thee of a single good 
The Conqueror has left thee. Follow me. 

Cain. Spirit, I have said it. 

[Exeunt Lucifer and Cain 

Adah {follows, exclaiming). Cain ! my brother ! Cain I 



ACT 11. 

SCENE I. 

The Abyss of Space. 

Cain. I tread on air, and sink not ; yet I fear 
To sink. 

Lucifer. Have faith in me, and thou shalt be 
Borne on the air, of which I am the prince. 

Cain. Can I do so without impiety ? 

Lucifer. Believe — and sink not ! doubt — and perish ! thus 
Would run the edict of the other God, 
Who names me demon to His angels ; they 
Echo the sound to miserable things, 
Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow senses, 
Worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem 
Evil or good what is proclaim' d to them 
In their abasement. I will have none such : 
Worship, or worship not, thou shalt behold 
The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be 
Amerced for doubts beyond thy little life, 
With torture of my dooming. There will come 
An hour, when, toss'd upon some water-dro^>s, 
A man shall say to a man, " Believe in me, 
And walk the waters ; " and the man shall walk 
The billows and be safe. / will not say, 
Believe in me, as a conditional creed 
To save thee ; but fly with me o'er the gulf 
Of space an equal flight, and I will show 
What thou dar'st not deny, — the history 
Of past, and present, and of future worlds. 

Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art, 
Is yon our earth ? 

Lucifer. Dost thou not recognize 

The dust which form'd your father ? 

Cain. Can it be ? 

Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether, 
With an inferior circlet near it still, 
Which looks like that which lit our earthly night ? 
Is this our Paradise ? Where are its walls, 
A.nd they who guard them ? 



<> 



♦e 



43° BYRON'S POEMS. 

Lucifer. Point me out the sit© 

Of Paradise. 

Cain. How should I ? As we move 

Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller, 
And as it waxes little, and then less, 
Gathers a halo round it, like the light 
Which shone the roundest of the stars, when I 
Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise : 
Methinks they both, as we recede from them, 
Appear to join the innumerable stars 
Which are around us ; and, as we move on. 
Increase their myriads. 

Lucifer. And if there should be 

Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited 
By greater things, and they themselves far more 
In number than the dust of thy dull earth, 
Though multiplied to animated atoms, 
All living, and all doom'd to death, and wretched, 
What wouldst thou think ? 

Cain. I should be proud of though 

Which knew such things. 

Lucifer. But if that high thought wero 
Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and, 
Knowing such things, aspiring to such things, 
And science still beyond them, were chain'd down 
To the most gross and petty paltry wants, 
All foul and fulsome, and the very best 
01 thine enjoyments a sweet degradation, 
A most enervating and filthy cheat 
To lure thee on to the renewal of 
Fresh souls and bodies, all foredoom'd to be 
As frail, and few so happy 

Cain. Spirit ! I 

Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thing 
Of which I have heard my parents speak, ar, of 
A hideous heritage I owe to them 
No less than life ; a heritage not happy, 
If I may judge, till now. But, spirit 1 if 
It be as thou hast said (and I within 
Feel the prophetic torture of its truth), 
Here let me die : for to give birth to those 
Who can but suffer many years, and die, 
Methinks is merely propagating death, 
And multiplying murder. 

Lucifer. Thou canst not 

All die — there is what must survive. 

Cain. The Other 

Spake not of this unto my father, when 
He shut him forth from Paradise, with death 
Written upon his forehead. But at least 
Let what is mortal of me perish, that 
i may be in the rest as angels are. 

Lucifer. I am angelic : wouldst thou be as t am ? 

Cain I know not what thou art : I see thy povec, 



4 



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CAIN. 



43 1 



Ana Bee thou show'st me things beyond my power. 
Beyond all power of my born faculties, 
Although inferior still to my desires 
And my conceptions. 

Lucifer. What are they which dwell 

So humbly in their pride, as to sojourn 
With worms in clay ? 

Cain. And what art thou who dwellesC 

Bo haughtily in spirit, and canst range 
Nature and immortality — and yet 
Seem'st sorrowful ? 

Lucifer. I seem that which I am j 

And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou 
Wouldst be immortal ? 

Cain. Thou hast said, I must be 

Immortal in despite of me. I knew not 
This until lately — but since it must be, 
Let me, or happy or unhappy, learn 
To anticipate my immortality. 

Lucifer. Thou didst before 1 came upon thee. 

Cain. How ? 

Lucifer. By suffering. 

Cain. And must torture be immortal ) 

Lucifer. We and thy sons will try. But now, behold 1 
Is it not glorious ? 

Cain. Oh, thou beautiful 

And unimaginable ether ! and 
Ye multiplying masses of increased 
And still increasing lights ! what are ye ? what 
Is this blue wilderness of interminable 
Air, where ye roll along, as I have seen 
The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden ? 
Is your course measured for ye ? Or do ye 
Sweep on in your unbounded revelry 
Through an aerial universe of endless 
Expansion — at which my soul aches to think — 
Intoxicated with eternity ? 
Oh God ! Oh Gods ! or whatsoe'er ye are 1 
How beautiful ye are ! how beautiful 
Your works, or accidents, or whatsoe'er 
They may be ! Let me die, as atoms di* 
(If that they die), or know ye in your might 
And knowledge ! My thoughts are not in this hour 
Unworthy what I see, though my dust is : 
Spirit ! let me expire, or see them nearer. 

Lucifer. Art thou not nearer? look back to thine 
earth ! 

Cain. Where is it ? I see nothing save a mass 
01 most innumerable lights. 

Lucifer. Look there ! 

Cain. I cannot see it. 

Lucifer. Yet it sparkles still, 

Cain. That ! — yonder ! 

Lucifer. Yea. 



43 2 BYRON'S POEMS. 

Cain. And wilt thou teU id© bc t 

Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worn>s 
Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks 
In the dim twilight, brighter than yon wcrld 
Which bears them. 

Lucifer. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds, 
Each bright and sparkling — what dost think of them ? 

Cain. That they are beautiful in their own sphere, 
And that the night, which makes both beautiful, 
The little shining fire-fly in its flight, 
And the immortal star in its great course, 
Must both bo guided. 

Lucifer. But by whom or what ? 

Cain. Show me. 

Lucifer. Dar'st thou behold ! 

Cain. How know I what 

I dare behold ? As yet, thou hast shown nought 
I dare not gaze on further. 

Lucifer. On, then, with me. 

Wouldst thou behold things mortal or immortal ? 

Cain. Why, what are things ? 

Lucifer. Both partly : but what doth 

Sit next thy heart ? 

Cain. The things I see. 

Lucifer. But what 

Sate nearest it ? 

Cain. The things I have not seen. 

Nor ever shall — the mysteries of death. 

Lucifer. What, if I show to thee things wliich have died. 
As I have shown thee much which cannot die ? 

Cain. Do so. 

Lucifer. Away, then ! on our mighty wings. 

Cain. Oh ! how we cleave the blue ! The stars facLs 
from us ! 
The earth ! — where is my earth ? Let me look on it, 
For I was made of it. 

Lucifer. 'Tis now beyond thee, 

Less, in the universe, than thou in it ; 
Yet deem not that thou canst escape it : thcu 
Shalt soon return to earth, and all its dust : 
'Tis part of thy eternity, and mine. 

Cain. Where dost thou lead me ? 

Lucifer. To what was before thoo ' 

The phantasm of the world ; of which thy world 
Is but the wreck. 

Cain. What ! is it not then new ? 

Lucifer. No more than life is ; and that was ere thou 
Or / were, or the things which seem to us 
Greater than either : many things will have 
No end : and some, which would pretend to have 
Had no beginning, have had one as mean 
As thou ; and mightier things have been extinct 
To make way for much meaner than we can 
Surmise ; for moments ouly and the spact 



<> 






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CAIN. 433 

Dive been and must be all unchangeable. 
Hut changes make not death, except to clay ; 
But thou art clay, — and canst but comprehend 
That which was clay, and such thou shalt behold. 

Cain. Clay, spirit ! what thou wiit, I can survey. 

Lucifer. Away, then 1 

Cain. But the lighta fade from aae 

fast, 
And some till now grew larger as we approach' d, 
And wore the look of worlds. 

Lucifer. And such they are. 

Cain. And Edens in them ? 

Lucifer. It may be. 

Cain. And men ? 

Lucifer. Yea, or things higher. 

Cain. Ay ? and serpents too > 

Lucifer. Wouldst thou have men without them ? must mo 
reptiles 

Breathe save the erect ones ? 

Cain. How the lights recede ; 

Where fly we ? 

Lucifer. To the world of phantoms, which 
Are beings past, and shadows still to come. 

Cain. But it grows dark and dark — the stars are gone } 

Lucifer. And yet thou seest. 

Cain. 'Tis a fearful light 1 

No sun, no moon, no lights innumerable. 
The very blue of the empurpled night 
Fades to a dreary twilight, yet I see 
Huge dusky masses : but unlike the worlds 
We were approaching, which, begirt with light, 
Seem'd full of life even when their atmosphere 
Of light gave way, and show'd them taking shapes 
Unequal, of deep valleys and vast mountains ; 
And some emitting sparks, and some displaying 
Enormous liquid plains